British team helping prepare Palestinian Authority to take over Gaza after Israel-Hamas war, Defence Secretary says

7 December 2023, 22:45 | Updated: 8 December 2023, 00:48

A British team has been helping the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza
A British team has been helping the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A British team in the West Bank is helping the Palestinian Authority prepare to govern Gaza after the end of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said that the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank and ran Gaza until 2006, should be in charge of the Gaza Strip after the conflict.

A British Support Team has been working in the West Bank for over a decade, Mr Shapps said, and could have its capacity boosted.

The war in Gaza began two months ago after Hamas launched a deadly attack on the south of Israel. Israel's aim is to wipe out Hamas, who are designated a terrorist group in the UK and several other countries.

Hamas leaders been in charge of Gaza since the 2006 elections. No elections have taken place since then.

Read more: Images emerge showing Israeli forces 'preparing pumps to flood Hamas tunnels with sea water'

Read more: British-Israeli teenager killed while fighting for the IDF in Gaza

Palestinians displaced by the Israeli ground offensive on the Gaza Strip arrive in the Muwasi area on Thursday,
Palestinians displaced by the Israeli ground offensive on the Gaza Strip arrive in the Muwasi area on Thursday,. Picture: Alamy

Mr Shapps told the Times: "Ultimately, I think the solution is likely to be a Palestinian Authority who need to be capable of a level of governance which will require a huge amount of international help and support and we are not there yet," Mr told the Times.

It is unclear how this will work in practice.

The Palestinian Authority have long been touted as Western countries' preferred rulers of Gaza, but concerns have been raised about their popularity among Palestinians, as well as their fitness to rule.

Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel must retain security control over Gaza, but insisted that his country does not want to occupy the territory politically.

The Palestinian Authority, formed as part of a peace process in the 1990s, are also not popular with Israel's leadership.

Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps. Picture: Alamy

Mahmoud Abbas, the leader, has said the Palestinian Authority would only return to Gaza if a "political solution" is found to the war with Hamas. That could involve establishing a Palestinian state, with its capital in East Jerusalem.

Mr Shapps made his comments on a visit Ramallah in the West Bank on Thursday.

The British Defence Secretary said: "When something really terrible happens what we absolutely need to do is get something that is better than what was there before.

"We have to use this appalling crisis to improve the security of Israelis and the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians.

Sangita Myska interviews UNICEF spokesperson James Elder

"And I think you do that by bringing together an international coalition which is led by Arab states in terms of the on-the-ground reconstruction of Gaza and also administratively.

"One of the reasons we are going to Ramallah to talk to the Palestinian Authority is to understand their capacity and ability.

"One of the things we will be doing is talking to the British team who are helping to build that capacity along with the Americans.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Nicola Bulley 'experts' have joined the search for the toddler

Nicola Bulley 'experts' begin search for missing boy Xielo Maruziva, 2, in River Soar

Sharon Goddard, 53, died after waiting 12 hours in A&E

'Neglected' mum died after waiting more than 12 hours in A&E after returning from dream holiday

Lengthy Royal Mail delays have caused a three-year-old toddler to miss vital chest surgery after urgent NHS letters went undelivered. File images.

Toddler misses vital chest surgery after Royal Mail fails to deliver urgent NHS letters, leaving him coughing and wheezing

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron

Germany and Poland rule out troops for Ukraine as Kremlin warns of wider war

"It’s been a big shock and it’s quite a big impact and he will always remain part of the Strictly family," said Ms Dowden.

'He made the whole room light up': Amy Dowden pays tribute to 'beautiful soul' Robin Windsor after star's death

Poland farmers' protest

Thousands of farmers protest in Warsaw over EU’s environmental policies

Oleg Orlov

Moscow court jails human rights activist for 30 months for Ukraine war criticism

Alan Bates has been giving evidence to MPs today

Sell Post Office to Amazon for a pound, Horizon scandal hero Alan Bates tells MPs

Due to price reasons, the layout of the property and its square footage will not be disclosed, according to the estate agent, Knight Frank.

Freddie Mercury's West London house on the market for £30m – but fans can't see listing over 'privacy reasons'

Pakistan Politics

Ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan and wife plead not guilty in corruption case

Owners of The Crooked House pub have ordered it to be rebuilt

Crooked House owners ordered to rebuild 'Britain's wonkiest pub' brick-by-brick after it was destroyed

Camilla led the royals at the memorial for King Constantine of Greece after Prince William had to pull out.

Camilla leads the royals after Prince William pulls out of memorial for his godfather due to 'personal matter'

Germany Red Army Faction

German left-wing militant arrested after more than 30 years on the run

Arsenal wished Olsson, who has won 47 caps for his country, a "full and speedy recovery" on social media.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder, 28, rushed to hospital with 'acute brain disease' after collapsing at home

Israel Palestinians

Israel ready to halt war during Ramadan if hostage deal reached, says Biden

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talking to King Constantine of Greece in a 2012 photo

Prince William pulls out of Windsor castle memorial event ‘due to a personal matter’