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Salam Fayyad says he is not part of Gaza ‘day after’ talks

The former Palestinian prime minister told Al-Monitor that any discussion of post-war rule in Gaza "must be based on national consensus."
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad makes a statement to the press on March 19, 2013 before a signing ceremony at EU headquarters in Brussels ahead of the opening of the annual coordination meeting of Palestinian aid donors.

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares to visit Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over the next week, many expect his discussions with regional partners to focus on plans for post-war Gaza.

A front-page story in the leading Palestinian daily Al Quds from Jan. 2 is headlined “Salam Fayyad is nominated to run Gaza” and includes a photo of the former Palestinian prime minister and now professor at Princeton University.

The report — which noted that many in Israel and the West have floated his name as an appropriate choice to lead post-war Gaza — angered Fayyad, as it portrayed him as a savior coming from the West while he is seen by many Palestinians as a staunch nationalist.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Fayyad distanced himself from the suggestions in the report. “I am not part of this discussion or a party to it,” he said, adding that “any such discussion must be based on national consensus and certainly should not be restricted to Gaza alone,” referencing the need for a political settlement to include Gaza as well as the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “Such a discussion aims at continuing the separation of Gaza and the continuation of the [Palestinian] division,” he added.

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