Following the Vice President’s meetings in Dubai with Arab leaders, she directed her National Security Advisor, Dr. Phil Gordon, to travel to Ramallah, the West Bank, following his visit to Israel, to update Palestinian officials on her meetings and continue our consultations with Palestinian officials on the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the situation in the West Bank. Dr. Gordon to traveled to Ramallah on December 6 and met with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO Hussein AlSheikh, Head of Palestinian General Intelligence Services Majid Faraj, and Palestinian business leaders.
Throughout his meetings in Ramallah, Dr. Gordon emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to support the Palestinian people and their right to security, dignity, and self-determination. He underscored our commitment to the future establishment of a Palestinian state and made clear that the Palestinian people must have a hopeful political horizon. To that end, Dr. Gordon discussed the revitalization of the Palestinian Authority.
Dr. Gordon and Palestinian officials discussed the situation in Gaza, and Dr. Gordon underscored the imperative of increased efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to those in need and to protect civilians, and he provided an update on his recent meetings with Israeli officials. Dr. Gordon emphasized that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people, that Hamas poses an unacceptable terrorist threat to the Israeli people, and that Hamas cannot control Gaza when the fighting ends.
Dr. Gordon and Palestinian officials discussed the situation in the West Bank, and Dr. Gordon emphasized the importance of preserving stability. He expressed our concern with steps that could escalate tensions, including extremist settler violence. He discussed the new visa restriction policy targeting individuals – both Israeli and Palestinian – believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in the West Bank.
On day-after planning, Dr. Gordon outlined the principles that the Vice President and the Biden-Harris Administration have publicly laid out and discussed efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance in Gaza after the phase of intensive fighting ends. Dr. Gordon emphasized that the Vice President and the Biden-Harris Administration are committed to accelerate planning on the day-after, so that when the phase of intensive fighting ends, we can begin to implement these plans, with significant support from the international community. He reiterated that a revitalized Palestinian Authority must have the capacity to govern both Gaza and the West Bank, and that Palestinian Authority Security Forces must be strengthened to eventually assume security responsibilities in Gaza.