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How EU-West Bank police mission hopes to advance two-state solution

Newly appointed EUPOL COPPS chief Karin Limdal is tasked with helping Palestinian law enforcement institutions reform to facilitate the implementation of the two-state solution and Palestinian statehood.
ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images

As the devastating war in the Gaza Strip drags into its seventh month and with talks for a hostage deal renewed, European Union leaders are engaged in helping the Palestinian Authority implement extensive reforms that they hope will allow it to play a central role in managing the enclave after the war is over. 

Yet the task ahead is challenging. The PA has lost much of its public support and legitimacy in recent years. In a poll published April 15 by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, only 18% of Gaza and West Bank Palestinians consider the PA's return to Gaza under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas their preferred scenario, compared with 63% in favor of the return of Hamas to rule the Strip.

Kelly Petillo, program manager for Middle East and North Africa at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Al-Monitor the EU must now help the PA revitalize and reform itself to regain legitimacy and prepare for possible responsibilities in governing Gaza after the war is over.

Reforming the PA "is the only realistic hope that we have," she said. "That’s why Europeans and others are working towards this end goal."

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