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Palestinian Authority ‘preparing to govern Gaza’, says PM Mohammad Mustafa

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa claimed on Sunday that his government is preparing to govern all of the Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

“We need to work quickly to help our people in Gaza and prepare for the day that we will be in power in Gaza,” he told journalists in a joint press conference with Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

The Palestinian PM is in Brussels for talks held by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell aimed at strengthening the PA to be able to assume power in Gaza after Israel has stopped waging war on the Palestinian territory.

The assumption is that Hamas will not be able to govern the enclave after Israel concludes its war on Gaza, with the PA, backed by the EU, attempting to demonstrate that they can fill the void.

“We want to build the institutions of a state,” Mustafa said, adding: “We need to make sure we have a clear plan for governing Gaza and the day after.”

Mustafa also called on all European countries to join Ireland, Spain and Norway in recognising the State of Palestine as the first meaningful step towards achieving a lasting peace in the region.

“This is the beginning of realisation of peace, rather than a promise of peace that we have been waiting for for 30 years,” he said.

“It’s time to make it a reality recognition of these states and a full membership of the United Nations is the right thing to do to keep the two-state solution viable, and to keep the hope of peace for our people and the region,” he added.

Hamas came to power in Gaza in 2007 after a brief conflict with rival faction Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

It won Palestinian elections in 2006 but Israel and factions within Fatah refused to accept this, leading to the conflict and the seizure of the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

Israel has repeatedly said that it does not accept the Palestinian Authority taking power in Gaza, despite support for this proposal from its major ally the US, as well as the EU.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also openly opposes a two-state solution, boasting in December of last year that he was proud to have “prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state”.

Source: The New Arab