Israel: government studies options for reinforcing PA powers

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid (Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  September 8, 2022

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is studying a series of options for measures to reinforce the power of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, it has been reported.

According to several Arab newspapers citing Haaretz, Lapid’s government is thinking of increasing the number of Palestinian workers in Israel, as well as increasing the flow of financial support from different sources. The prime minister is to assess the situation today, apparently, with the leaders of Israel’s military institutions.

Haaretz itself cited a security source quoting remarks by Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, who attributed the escalation of resistance action in the occupied West Bank to the weakness of the PA’s security services. The source said that there is an extensive internal weakness problem with the PA, mainly in Jenin and Nablus.

At the same time, it was said that there are attempts to weaken PA President Mahmoud Abbas, added to the disputes over who the octogenarian’s successor will be.

However, political sources reported by Haaretz said that those involved in the discussions do not know whether assistance will have any real impact on the situation on the ground.

Since the start of this year, said Kan public broadcaster, Palestinian resistance action in West Bank has included sixty armed attacks, compared with fifty last year and forty-eight in 2020.

Writer David Rosenberg believes that Israel is weighing up measures that will solve some of the Palestinians’ short-term problems, at the cost of exacerbating the long-term issues. He also said that Israel’s desperate attempts to prop up the PA and the West Bank economy might compound the difficulties.