As Israel destroys Hamas, discussion has already begun regarding future governance in Gaza.
President Biden said on “60 Minutes” regarding Gaza that “there needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs to be a path to a Palestinian state.”
In a Fox News interview, former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus was more specific: After Israel dismantles Hamas, he said, some Palestinian group will be needed to govern Gaza. One candidate, he suggested, is the Palestine Liberation Organization-dominated Palestinian Authority.
Supporting Palestinian Authority governance in Gaza would be a deadly mistake.
The Palestinian Authority has ruled parts of the West Bank for nearly three decades. For a dozen years before it was replaced by Hamas in 2006, it also ruled parts of Gaza. The Palestinian Authority’s track record shows that its tactics differ from Hamas’, but it nevertheless accomplishes the same result: murdering Jews.
For the non-Arab world and especially the West, the Palestinian Authority tries to pretend otherwise. Eight days after Hamas committed the worst act of mass murder against Jews since the Holocaust, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WAFA, reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “stressed that Hamas’ policies and actions do not represent the Palestinian people, and the policies, programs and decisions of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] represent the Palestinian people as their sole legitimate representative.”
Hours later, however, the Palestinian Authority realized that even this anodyne comment undermined its message to the Arab world. A revised WAFA report about Abbas’ statement — “The president also stressed that the policies, programs, and decisions of the PLO represent the Palestinian people as their sole legitimate representative, and not the policies of any other organization” — deleted the references to Hamas and its actions.
Two days later, moreover, the Palestinian Authority yet again clarified for the world that it supports the murder of Jews: It promised to pay millions to the Hamas terrorists’ families, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Murderous History of the Palestinian Authority
This is nothing new for the Palestinian Authority. It has been in the business of murdering Jews for decades.
In September 1993, the PLO and Israel signed the Oslo Accord, which was supposed to lead to peace between the Palestinians and Israel. In May 1994, they agreed to create the Palestinian Authority to govern Palestinians and purportedly to prevent Palestinian terrorism and complete the peace process with Israel.
Instead of pursuing peace, however, the Palestinian Authority and the PLO that dominates it have for the last three decades incited, funded, committed, and/or rewarded hundreds of murderous terrorist acts against Jews and other Israelis. From 1993-1999, there were more than 90 such terrorist attacks, according to the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).
In 2000, the Palestinian Authority launched the second intifada, a particularly vicious and deadly five-year terrorist campaign that featured suicide bombings and killed more than 1,100 Israelis, AICE found.
Substantially intensified and more proactive antiterrorism activities by Israeli security forces ended the second intifada in 2005, but Palestinian Authority-facilitated terrorism continued. Since 2006, there have been more than 200 attacks.
A key Palestinian Authority (and, before its inception, PLO) weapon in producing this terrorism has been paying families of Palestinians that commit terrorism — with bigger payments for deadlier attacks.
Under this “pay-for-slay” policy, the Palestinian Authority annually pays hundreds of millions to families of terrorists — and now plans to pay a total of at least $2.8 million to the families of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorists.
Biden Admin Reverses Trump Order and Funds PA
The Biden administration excuses this terrorism-producing policy.
In 2018, in an attempt to persuade the Palestinian Authority to end “pay-for-slay,” Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the Taylor-Force Act, which bars U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops these payments.
Trump then cut to zero the $359 million of U.S. aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugee aid programs that both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have used to foment terrorism against Jews.
Upon taking office, however, the Biden administration reversed course, provided over $1 billion to these UNRWA terrorism-incitement programs, and signaled to the Palestinian Authority that the U.S. accepts pay-for-slay.
This Biden administration policy mistake effectively supports the Palestinian Authority’s facilitation of terrorism. The Biden administration should not exponentially compound this deadly mistake by supporting Palestinian Authority governance in Gaza.