Despite facing persistent terrorism from the Gaza Strip, Israel remains committed to providing humanitarian support and ultimately reaching peace with the Palestinians. Unfortunately, both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the terrorist organization Hamas continue to rebuff Israeli and American peace efforts. PA President Mahmoud Abbas must end his boycott of the United States and begin the hard work of making peace with Israel.
The United States and Israel aim to advance peace and support Gaza.
The U.S. administration is working on a peace proposal to serve as a basis for negotiations. These efforts can help jump start peace talks, but ultimately a lasting agreement must result from direct bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel has repeatedly offered to restart peace negotiations and has actively engaged with the United States team leading this effort.
Despite facing ongoing terror from Gaza, Israel is taking concrete steps to support water, sanitation, and electricity projects there. Nearly every day, hundreds of trucks enter Gaza from Israel carrying thousands of tons of food, medicine, construction materials and other commercial goods.
The United States has sought to galvanize international support for humanitarian projects and reconstruction in Gaza, only to have these efforts opposed by President Abbas.
The Palestinian Authority continues to rebuff peace efforts.
President Abbas has refused to engage in peace negotiations with Israel for more than four years. The PA refuses to even meet with American officials.
The PA has violated its commitments to negotiate directly with Israel. Instead, it has tried to bring Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and sought to achieve its objectives by bypassing peace talks and seeking full membership for “Palestine” in U.N. agencies and treaties.
The PA has obstructed humanitarian aid to Gaza, refused to back plans to rehabilitate Gaza, and stopped salary payments to PA employees in Gaza leading to increased economic hardship.
Hamas continues to attack Israel.
During recent riots, Hamas has cynically exploited women and children as human shields in an effort to penetrate Israel’s border and carry out terrorist attacks. Hamas-led rioters have opened fire and hurled firebombs at Israeli soldiers during multiple attempts to breach the border.
Hamas is enhancing its rocket and missile arsenal and continues to dig attack tunnels into Israel. Last month, terrorists in Gaza fired nearly 200 rockets and mortars at Israel. In the last year, Israeli forces have uncovered at least seven Hamas tunnels.
While some in Gaza may seek peaceful change, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has made clear the group’s aim remains Israel’s destruction, saying on April 9, “Palestine and Jerusalem belong to us… We will break the walls of the blockade, remove the occupation entity and return to all of Palestine.”