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Israeli Security Warns of PA Collapse, Tension in West Bank

Israeli Security Warns of PA Collapse, Tension in West Bank

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 - 11:00
Palestinians mark Nakba Day in 2017. (Reuters)
Ramallah - Kifah Zboun
Israeli intelligence said their security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) could deteriorate within three months due to Ramallah’s economic woes.

Intelligence sources have warned Israeli officials of the potential for escalating tensions in the West Bank and the undermining of the PA’s status as a result of the economic crisis.

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, Haaretz reported.

The sources added that Israel and other countries must take steps to prevent the PA’s economic collapse.

The coming three months will be the “hardest for the Palestinian nation,” said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who called for “national unity” to face the current financial crisis.

During an Iftar meal on Monday, he stated the PA is dealing with challenges on “several fronts,” most of which are imposed.

He added Israel has been waging a geographic war on Palestinians by confiscating “our lands on a daily basis and has built more than 196 settlements on them, in which 711,000 settlers make up 24 percent of all those living in the West Bank alone.”

It has also been waging a demographic war, which aims to expel Palestinians from Jerusalem using all means, he added.

Shtayyeh explained that there are 112,000 people from Jerusalem who live behind the wall, stressing that Palestinians will remain here and will not leave despite attempts to falsify the history.

In addition to the geographic and demographic wars, the PM said Israel has been waging a financial war against Palestinians as wanted by the United States to extort Palestinians to agree to the Trump administration's so-called “deal of the century” peace deal.

“This US administration and its ally Israel believe that they are defeating us with the financial siege, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, closing the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington and draining UNRWA's financial resources so we surrender and accept the deal of ‘Shame,’ not knowing that this won’t happen.”

The PA reaches out in national unity to anyone who recognizes the PLO as the only representative of the Palestinian nation and who recognizes PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the only leader, he stressed.

The PA has been facing a severe financial crisis due to its refusal to receive its tax revenues from Israel after deductions.

Israel collects around $190 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, and then it transfers the money to the PA.

In February, it decided to deduct around $10 million a month from those revenues, corresponding to the amount it said the PA paid families of prisoners or directly to inmates serving time in Israeli jails.

Palestinians responded by saying they would refuse any funds from which unilateral deductions had been made.

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