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Israel officials warn ‘security cooperation’ with PA could decline within 3 months

May 14, 2019 at 10:44 am

Israeli officials have warned that so-called “security cooperation” with the Palestinian Authority (PA) “could deteriorate within three months due to Ramallah’s economic woes”, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, the intelligence sources “have warned Israeli officials of the potential for escalating tensions in the West Bank and the undermining of the PA’s status”.

The factors behind this destabilisation include the economic crisis, the pending Trump administration’s peace plan, and Hamas’ perceived gains in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Haaretz added that “according to security assessments, the PA will struggle to govern the territories under its control, increasing the likelihood of confrontations of unpredictable intensity between West Bank Palestinians and Israeli forces”.

READ: Security coordination with PA helps Israel economy prosper

According to the paper, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is frustrated by what he views as the PA’s scant reward for cooperating with Israel, intelligence officials said, in contrast to the economic concessions secured by Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the Gaza Strip.”

“One source said Abbas was hard-put to explain this to West Bank residents seeing the aid flowing into the Strip after a few days of combat,” the report added.

Additional factors that Israeli officials could fear to “escalation” include “unilateral moves by Israel, like expanding construction in the settlements and steps like those taken before the April 9 election, like the reduction in the tax transfers to the Palestinians or the blocking of cellphone transmissions in the security wings of the prisons”.

“A source in the defense establishment said recently that Israel is trying to keep the PA alive, ‘as if it’s force-feeding a critically ill patient’,” Haaretz said. “According to this source, Israel’s moves are meant to buy time, but, ‘They will not be able to change the situation significantly’.”

READ: PA’s collapse will cause ‘chaos in the West Bank,’ warns former official