The Palestinian Authority (PA)

The New Palestinian Authority Government

On March 31, 2024, the 19th Palestinian government was sworn in at Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah. It is headed by Dr. Muhammad Mustafa. the government ministers do not belong to any political party. Its platform emphasized that the government regards Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip as one political-geographic unit with the PLO as the source of its authority (Wafa, March 28, 2024). The new government is defined as "a government of technocrats" and has almost no known figures with a political past. It has 23 ministers, compared to 26 in the government headed by Muhammad Shtayyeh, and has representation for the Gaza Strip, Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem. Seven of the government ministers are from the Gaza Strip (currently staying in Ramallah), 14 from Judea and Samaria, and two are residents of east Jerusalem. There are four women in the government. Two ministers are Christians and the rest are Muslims. Most of the ministers are in their sixties. The vast majority have advanced degrees from universities abroad. Two of the members of the government, Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa and Ziad Hab al-Reeh, have political experience, but while all the other ministers have an impressive record in civilian and academic fields, they lack political experience. The ITIC has no information about their political positions or their positions regarding Israel and the conflict, since so far they have seldom been interviewed or expressed positions on those issues. However, contrary to Mustafa's statements that the new government is manned by independent technocrats, a detailed examination revealed that at least four of the ministers are unequivocally members of Fatah and in the past ran for positions on behalf of the movement, headed by Interior Minister Ziad Hab al-Reeh. At least two of them were previously detained by Israel.
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The Palestinian perspective on alternatives for managing the Gaza Strip “the day after”

The Gaza Strip is currently preoccupied with ways to deliver humanitarian aid to local residents, while the Palestinian and Arab media are preoccupied with the issue of "the day after" in the Gaza Strip, and several possibilities have been mentioned. The Palestinian Authority (PA) regards itself as the Gaza Strip's best administrator. It views the war in the Gaza Strip as a window of opportunity for regaining control of the Strip, and as another step towards establishing an independent Palestinian state. To further the goal, the PA's governing institutions are being reorganized. Hamas regards itself as being central to the administration of the Strip even "the day after." The Hamas leadership claims the solution will be internal and Palestinian and voices strong opposition to international intervention and the talk about establishing a national consensus government and integrating Hamas into the PLO. The idea of turning the Gaza Strip over to the heads of the clans and large families was first raised by Israel. The heads of the clans proved themselves to be a force in the Gaza Strip and successfully transferred part of the humanitarian aid. However, a significant number of clans are affiliated with Hamas and other terrorist groups. Muhammad Dahlan, the ousted senior Fatah figure, who currently resides in Abu Dhabi, regards the situation as an opportunity to return to political activity and formulate a plan for the reconstruction of the Strip, and to that end could mobilize Arab capital and the security of Arab forces. Other possibilities: Such as the establishment of an interim regime, led by the United States and with the participation of regional countries which will rule the Strip for several years until power is handed over to the PA. There is also the possibility of deploying an Arab peacekeeping force after the withdrawal of the IDF forces, which does not rule out the participation of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) representatives in the governing body. At the moment there is no solution agreed upon by everyone and all the proposals have shortcomings. In any solution "for the day after," Hamas, which is popular with the majority of the Gazans, will not disappear, and will work to influence events and become a part of any future administration.
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Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 19-26, 2024)

IDF forces continued operating in the Gaza Strip in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, In the central Gaza Strip. The forces also operated in the Khan Yunis region, west of the city and in the Qarara area. Despite Israeli flexibility regarding the Palestinian prisoners and the return of the displaced persons to the northern Gaza Strip, Hamas announced its rejection of the latest United States offer. As a result, Israel announced that the Israeli delegation in Qatar would return to Israel. Hamas and the PIJ claim that so far there have been no "positive responses" from Israel and that Israel's answer does not meet their demands. The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages Operations to introduce humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip continue. The prayer of the second Friday of Ramadan on the Temple Mount was relatively quiet. Reportedly, 120 thousand worshipers came to pray.Four terrorist attacks were carried out this past week. An IDF soldier was killed in an attack at the Parsa Junction (west of Ramallah). PA figures continue their activities to end the war in the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas again accused Israel of stealing Palestinian water sources and not bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. A public opinion poll indicated a strengthening of trust in Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
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The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research quarterly public opinion poll shows a certain decline in support for Hamas and the “armed resistance”

On March 20, 2024, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), headed by Dr. Khalil Shikaki, published the main findings of the quarterly survey of the opinions of the residents of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. It was the second survey conducted by the institute during the war in the Gaza Strip. Several conclusions arose from the survey findings: A decrease was recorded both in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip in the level of support for Hamas and the "armed resistance" . Some of the answers showed trust in Hamas was gaining strength in the Gaza Strip. 70% of the respondents living in shelters in the Gaza Strip reported that the distribution of food was affected by political affiliation and carried out unfairly. Regarding the effect of the war on the internal Palestinian balance of power, the survey indicated a significant change.
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Appointment of New Palestinian Authority District Governors

On August 10, 2023, Mahmoud Abbas announced the enforced retirement of most of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza Strip district governors, with three exceptions. Only on March 3, 2024, about seven months after the announcement, did an official round of appointments of eight new district governors begin, ending on March 10, 2024, after they were sworn in at Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah.An examination of the new district governors reveals the following: Unlike previous years, this time Mahmoud Abbas appointed local people who were familiar with and had connections to the territory and the population. All eight governors are veteran Fatah members who belong to the movement's "middle generation" Some of them served or still serve in senior positions within Fatah.Appointing governors who are familiar with the district and its issues and have and good relations with the local residents is intended to strengthen the PA's control and improve its position and image.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 13, 2024)

IDF forces continued operating in the neighborhoods of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, and in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. Given the stalemated negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage deal, international parties have made different suggestions to promote a deal in the immediate future. According to reports, the Hamas delegation will soon leave for another round of talks in Cairo. Senior Hamas members stated that despite the offers they received, they adhered to their demands. The United States Army's Central Command announced the departure of four vessels to the Middle East carrying equipment and supplies to establish a temporary pier in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 11 attacks. An operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing Lebanon was eliminated in an aerial attack near Tyre. A 15 year-old boy carried out a stabbing attack at the Tunnel Checkpoint, wounding two security personnel. A stabbing attack was attempted in the settlement of Givat Ronen south of Nablus. Mahmoud Abbas has chosen Muhammad Mustafa to serve as the PA's next prime minister.. A source in the Iraqi resistance" said they would continue their military operations during Ramadan. The Houthis launched a ballistic missile at an American destroyer in the Red Sea.
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