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Is the Palestinian Authority Teetering on the Brink of the Abyss?

November 22, 2022

by: Kate Norman

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The emblem of the Lion’s Den terrorist group

Tuesday, 22 November 2022 | The Palestinian Authority (PA), chaired by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is at risk of collapsing and losing its grip on the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, the chief of Israel’s security organization warned last week.

Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization) chief Ronen Bar cautioned Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu about the deteriorating situation in a briefing last week, Israel’s Walla news site reported. The PA’s collapse, Bar reportedly warned Netanyahu, would greatly deteriorate the security situation in Judea and Samaria, or the so-called West Bank.

Though the PA funds terrorism in its “Pay-for-Slay” program and decries the Israeli “occupation” before the international audience, the entity does maintain a tentative balance in the Palestinian-governed parts of Israel’s biblical heartland. In fact, Israel’s security forces frequently coordinate with their PA counterparts in security matters, such as arresting terror suspects.

The PA’s disintegration is the result of several different factors: the impending end of 87-year-old Abbas’s reign and the resulting power grab to fill the vacuum; years of corruption and mismanagement by the PA government, resulting in the disillusionment of the younger generations of Palestinians; and the rising influence of other groups, such as the Gaza-based terror group Hamas and the new Lion’s Den terrorist group.

Tensions have been high in Judea and Samaria particularly since this summer, when a string of six separate terror attacks left 19 people across Israel dead. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Breaking the Wave to curb the wave of terrorism.

The operation involves frequent night raids in which Israeli security forces arrest suspected terrorists and those who have known ties to terror groups and take them in for questioning.

In addition to protecting Israeli civilians from planned attacks, the operation has also sparked tensions among radicalized Palestinians, particularly in Jenin and Nablus (biblical Shechem), where the relatively new Lion’s Den terror group is based. The group is known to be behind several terror attacks against Israeli military and security personnel.

In addition, four more Israelis have been killed in two separate terror attacks over the last month. Most recently, three men were killed in a terror attack in Ariel.

With fears that the tensions could boil over into a third intifada, incoming Prime Minister Netanyahu has a full plate.

This meeting between Netanyahu and Shin Bet chief Ronan was the first since Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc of political parties won 64 seats in the November 1 election, giving them a comfortable majority in the 120-seat Knesset (Parliament).

Now, as Netanyahu is working within his deadline to divvy out ministerial positions and form a government, whom he places into what role will affect the tone in Judea and Samaria—and the rest of Israel as well.

Posted on November 22, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 22, 2022)

Photo Credit: F aisal/commons.wikimedia.org

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