Reports in the Israeli media claim that the Israeli security forces have threatened to increase their incursions into the West Bank unless the Palestinian Authority (PA) suppresses popular protests against settlements and Judaisation policies.
According to the head of Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service chief), Yuval Diskin, he has conveyed several messages to the PA Prime Minister, Ismail Fayad and other senior officials. Together with the head of the Israeli Army Middle Zone, Diskin told the PA that it “must contain the popular protests that have recently erupted in the West Bank and keep them from turning violent, and the PA itself must reduce incitement regarding the Temple Mount [sic] and Jerusalem”.
Details of the exchange were reported by Haaretz on 8 March and attributed to Palestinian sources. It was made clear to the PA that if nothing is done about the protests the Israelis will reduce “cooperation with the PA and increase the number of arrests in Palestinian-controlled areas”.
Haaretz said that Diskin’s messages were delivered during a series of conversations between senior Israeli security officials and their Palestinian counterparts, as well as by political figures. The Israeli paper also claimed that, according to the same Palestinian sources, Diskin had discussed the issue with the PA official responsible for civil matters in the West Bank, Hussein al-Sheikh.