Israel Plans to Bolster Palestinian Authority Amid Unstable Security Situation
Benjamin Netanyahu’s high-level security cabinet has voted to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA) to align with the West amid an unstable security situation. The ministers included “steps that have remained unimplemented” in the past.
Sources said the cabinet’s decision was a declarative one, to tell the West, particularly U.S.’s Biden administration, that Israel will work to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. The PA is the governing body of autonomous Palestinian regions in the West Bank established in 1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. The late Fatah leader Yasser Arafat was the first president of the PA until 2004. The PA, as per the Oslo Accords, was to be an interim structure that would be succeeded by an independent, democratically elected Palestinian government following a “final peace agreement with Israel”.
The Israeli government in a statement said Sunday’s vote was to prevent the collapse of the PA while advancing the demand that it cease its activities against Israel in the international legal-diplomatic arena, end incitement in its media and education systems, stop payments to families of terrorists and murderers, and illegal construction in Area C.
Moreover the vote which was backed by the security cabinet, includes economic, travel, and security measures aimed at stabilizing the PA. It debated economic measures, including easing the schedule for PA debt payments to Israel, and restoration of VIP permits for senior PA officials. It should be noted that the permits were canceled by the government in January given the UN General Assembly’s approval of a resolution which was backed by the Palestinians to intervene.
The Israeli leadership was warned about the PA’s possible collapse and advised to advance measures quickly. Experts say the PA’s collapse would lead to chaos and a power vacuum in the West Bank. It would be an opportunity for terror groups to seize control, whereby another Gaza-like situation would arise.