Palestinians absent as White House hosts meeting on Gaza

Israel meets with Arab states to address Gaza at historical White House gathering

The attack on the Western-backed leader, who is spearheading the Authority's reconciliation efforts with Gaza's dominant group, Hamas, took place as the White House prepared to hold a meeting on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.

The conference of global donor nations appeared aimed at altering the perception among Palestinians that President Donald Trump's White House is less concerned with their future than Israel's. "This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians", he added.

The administration is preparing to release its peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, and the Jerusalem Post called Tuesday's meeting "the possible start of a regional dialogue over Israeli-Palestinian peace".

They have refused to meet with President Donald Trump's administration since he broke with longstanding United States policy in December by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

He said the United States has lost its credibility and role as mediator after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and chose to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which prompted the Palestinian Authority to cut all contacts with the USA administration.

"The administration of President Donald J. Trump believes that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza require immediate attention", the White House said. While representatives of Egypt and Jordan also attended, the Palestinian Authority boycotted the meeting, refusing to participate in any manner.

Agence France-Presse reported that Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas widened an investigation Wednesday into a bomb explosion that targeted Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as he made a rare visit to the strip a day earlier.

In related news, Hamas called for a renewal of suicide bombings against Israel on the official website of its "military wing", the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade. But officials at the conference cited it as an example of the challenges posed by Hamas control over the strip. But there has been little enthusiasm from the global community, frustrated after years of little progress in Gaza.

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