First Published: 2018-03-13

Palestinian presence at White House Gaza conference uncertain
Trump's "administration believes that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza require immediate attention,” says US special envoy.
Middle East Online

It is unclear whether Palestinians officials will break their de facto boycott of US officials to attend

WASHINGTON - The White House will hold a conference on the humanitarian situation in Gaza on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether any Palestinian officials will attend.

President Donald Trump's "administration believes that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza require immediate attention," US special envoy Jason Greenblatt said in a statement announcing the conference.

The meeting is expected to include top White House aide Jared Kushner, National Security Council staff and "many of the relevant parties," according to Greenblatt.

It is unclear whether Palestinians officials will break their de facto boycott of US officials to attend.

The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with long-standing US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"We are pleased with the committed list of attendees, which includes many of the relevant parties and anticipate a robust dialogue," said Greenblatt.

"The challenge will be determining which ideas can be realistically implemented in light of the fact that the Palestinians of Gaza continue to suffer under the authoritarian rule of Hamas."

A decade-long Israeli blockade and a dispute between Gaza's Islamist rulers and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authorities have brought the coastal territory's economy to its knees.

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas. The two sides have fought three wars since 2008.

Rights groups and UN officials say the blockade amounts to collective punishment and strangles the economy in the enclave, where unemployment is around 40 percent.


Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Mother Courage: Iraqi widow who saved recruits from slaughter

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007