Representatives of Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, European countries, and others met yesterday at the White House to discuss the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority (PA) was not present. Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump's emissary, began the summit by condemning the attack on PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on the latter's visit to the Gaza Strip in order to attend the inauguration ceremony for the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment facility.
Major General Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, represented Israel at the talks. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and representatives of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and investment funds under the US administration's authority were also present.
Greenblatt is scheduled to present a number of measures aimed at aiding residents of the Gaza Strip. The US State Department is steering away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict almost completely. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired yesterday, and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was touring in Israel.
A US National Security Council team and Trump's Middle East team, headed by Greenblatt, are handling the issue for the US.
Beyond the interesting meeting between Israel and countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, the meeting is intended to jump-start aid projects. In his remarks, however, Greenblatt stressed that Lebanonization of the situation, in which Hamas could thrive while the international community gave aid to civilians, was to be avoided.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 14, 2018
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