BBC audiences would therefore have expected to see some coverage of a meeting designed to address the topic of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip that included representatives from eight Middle East countries.
In a March 8th op-ed in the Washington Post the US special representative Jason Greenblatt wrote:
“In response to the burgeoning humanitarian situation in Gaza, key countries and stakeholders are preparing to act: There was a meeting in Cairo on Thursday, and there will be a brainstorming session at the White House next week to find real solutions to the problems that Hamas has caused. […]
The humanitarian disaster caused by Hamas’s exploitation of the Palestinians of Gaza demands that we focus immediately on basics such as power, sanitation and drinking water. Gaza is not without resources, however, and has significant opportunities to build prosperous energy sectors in natural gas and solar. Our Gaza conference in Washington will focus on ideas for how to develop, over time, a viable economy in Gaza.”
Two days later the Palestinian Authority announced that it would not attend that conference in Washington.
“The Palestinian Authority has turned down an invitation from the Trump administration to participate in a meeting at the White House later this week on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, a Palestinian official said Saturday.
Speaking with the Voice of Palestine radio, PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani accused the US of trying to undermine the Palestinian Authority and said there was no need for a meeting because Gaza “is a political issue and not a humanitarian one.”
“The United States knows very well that the cause of the tragedy of the Gaza Strip is the unjust Israeli siege, and what is needed is political treatment of this issue,” he claimed.
Majdalani, who also serves as an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, told Voice of Palestine that the White House meeting on the Palestinian coastal enclave “does not come in a vacuum” and is part of Washington’s broader effort to further isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and “liquidate the Palestinian national project” altogether.”
“The summit featured an unusual meetup of representatives from Israel and Arab nations with which the Jewish state does not have formal relations.
Jerusalem was represented by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. Also present were envoys for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and — notably — Qatar, which has close ties to Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
Egyptian and Jordanian officials were in attendance as well. […]
While officials would not detail with any specificity the proposals that were deliberated upon, they said they were aimed at electricity, water, sewage and health issues.”
Remarkably, the BBC did not find that meeting – or the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to participate in it – at all newsworthy.