The Palestinian Authority thwarted an international initiative, supported by the United States, Europe, and Jordan, to radically change governmental control in Gaza, Walla! News reported Thursday.
The West tried to push the initiative, which would have granted the PA authority over Gaza, through to the United Nations Security Council, but the Palestinian leadership rejected the proposal after being presented with a draft.
The draft was first crafted in September, shortly after Operation Protective Edge, by a number of countries, including the US, France, and Britain, and with the cooperation of Jordan.
It calls for the governance of Gaza, as well as for all border crossings of the coastal enclave, to come under the leadership of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In addition, the draft included a commitment by the international community to help the PA gain control over all military forces and weapons in Gaza, effectively subjugating the terror group Hamas which controls the territory.
Jordan showed the plan to Palestinians as early as September, and believed it would win approval. While neither Israel nor the PA were invited to discussions on the proposal, both were being extensively briefed on the matter, as was neighboring Egypt.
After the text was formulated it was presented to both parties with an all-or-nothing format. The Palestinians soon rejected the proposal, sparing Israel the need to respond, but evoking the anger and disappointment of countries who participated.
Senior diplomats involved in talks on the subject told Walla! that the main goal of the proposal was to ensure a stable ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, while also strengthening the Palestinian Authority.
But, one postulated, Abu Mazen balked at agreeing to the proposal fearing he may lose power if he were to enter Gaza and come into conflict with Hamas. Or, the diplomat suggested, if there was no conflict with Hamas, Israel would blame it for any violence that may erupt.
Another diplomat estimated that the Palestinians rejected the proposal because it would be interpreted as an attempt to takeover Gaza, thereby undermining dialogue between Hamas and Fatah.
Yet another dismissed the suggestion stating simply that "Abbas is not willing to take responsibility for Gaza. For him, it's a trap."