Ronen Bar, head of Israeli intelligence services Shin Bet, has warned that the situation in the occupied West Bank is worse than it appears to mass media, Al-Resalah newspaper reported on Friday.
During a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, Bar claimed that the Israeli occupation: “Does not wish to send the military for incursions into Palestinian cities but has no choice due to increased violence.”
Bar told Leaf that the situation in the West Bank is worse than it appears to mass media, pointing out that he supports attempts to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA).
However, he said Israel is currently witnessing electoral campaigns and “this is a sensitive time” for deciding on such a measure.
At the same time, Bar told Leaf that the Shabak is “concerned” about the PA’s situation and lacks confidence in the ability of PA security forces.
Meanwhile, Major General Ghassan Alian, the head of the Israeli army’s civil coordination body in the West Bank, painted a similar picture.
Alian told Leaf that he is doing everything in his power to stabilise the situation in the West Bank but fears it might not be enough “to stop the snowball,” stressing that any significant measure needs a political decision.
Leaf warned Chair of Israel’s National Security Council Eyal Hulata of an eminent collapse of the PA.
She reiterated to him that the ball is currently in Israel’s court, urging: “We call for you to take quick measures to help the PA.”
As per Leaf’s meetings with the Palestinians, she told them that a move in the UN is not what’s going to help them regain control in cities like Jenin and Nablus.
During a meeting with Palestinian Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh, he responded by saying the US needs to: “Press Israel to stop its unilateral steps on the ground and its incursions into Palestinian cities.”