PA to Boycott Aid Conference to Help Gaza

U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt seen during a visit to the Israel-Gaza border, last summer. (David Azagury/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)

The Palestinian Authority has announced that it will boycott an American-sponsored summit to discuss the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The summit was set to discuss various problems, such as sanitation, labor and health, with the U.S. seeking ways to assist Gazans. But the PA will not be attending, and as Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., cannot attend, there will be no one representing Gazans at the summit.

A report on Palestinian media said that the boycott was taking place on the background of the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Yerushalayim. The report quoted PA officials as saying that Gaza was not a humanitarian issue, but a political one. “The U.S. knows quite well that the true cause of the tragedy in Gaza is the Israeli blockade. What is needed to solve this crisis is a political solution, not a humanitarian one.”

The summit was organized by U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, who has been working on setting up joint economic projects between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In light of the PA’s refusal to participate in the event, it is not clear if the summit will take place as scheduled.