Middle East Monitor / February 1, 2023
A former senior security aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the Palestinian Authority with a “Defensive Shield II” military offensive in the occupied West Bank if no action is taken to stop Palestinian resistance.
“It is a dangerous game,” Ben-Shabbat told The Times of Israel. “If it [Palestinian resistance] is intended as a lever to pressure Israel, it is dangerous for [Mahmoud Abbas] first and foremost.”
He said that if Abbas does not take more forceful measures against the Palestinian resistance, the Israeli occupation army could be forced to carry out a major military operation in the West Bank, as it did in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada.
“Abu Mazen remembers well the days of Operation Defensive Shield,” explained Netanyahu’s former aide. “He does not want to get there, but it will get there. Israel’s security services have a primary responsibility to protect Israeli lives. If we get to a situation where we need to do that, we will.”
The PA simply does not do its part, claimed Ben-Shabbat. “It does not want to be in conflict with anyone, so it lets the thugs in Nablus establish the Lion’s Den terror [sic] group, it lets the thugs in Jenin store weapons and take over the refugee camp. Then it leaves Israel to deal with the results.”
Resistance against a military occupation is legitimate under international law, observers have pointed out. This is something that the Israeli security and “self-defence” narrative ignores.