“At some point, what would make the most sense would be for an effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority to have governance and ultimately security responsibility for Gaza,” Blinken told the Senate hearing. Hamas ousted the PA from Gaza in 2007 following bloody fighting, a year after winning a plurality of the vote in Palestinian legislative elections. Returning the Palestinian Authority to Gaza appears highly difficult to implement, given the historically weak state of the PA. Commenting on Smotrich’s decision during Tuesday’s hearing, Blinken said the US has asked Israel to release the Palestinian funds. The Palestinian Authority has not denounced Hamas, while expressing opposition to the targeting of all civilians.