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Palestinian authority on brink of violence due to economic crisis: Israeli official
Palestinian authority on brink of violence due to economic crisis: Israeli official
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West Bank, ALRAY - Senior Israeli security officials have recently warned politicians that the economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority is worsening, and that it could lead to an outbreak of violence

Senior Israeli security officials have recently warned politicians that the economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority is worsening, and that it could lead to an outbreak of violence, Haaretz paper reported on Wednesday.

According to the paper the officials believe that Israel and the PA must find a solution to renew the security cooperation between them, which will make it easier for the Palestinians to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus in the West Bank – difficulties that the officials called the “worst there in the last decade.”

The paper noted that Israeli security agency claimed that the improving of Palestinian economy in the West Bank in the recent years gives Israel calm. Improving the live conditions of Palestinians contributed to prevent security escalation.  

The paper claimed that the protests in the West Bank in the recent years concentrated on civil problems, such as such as wages, retirement, and the high cost of living.

 Up to the Israeli officials the outbreak of covid-19 in the West Bank change the condition, expecting that the scenario of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the outbreak of violence in the aftermath "has become more realistic," but that such a scenario "is not expected in the near future."

The paper quoted the officials as saying that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to refrain from entering a confrontation with Israel, and they described him as "the ideal Palestinian leader for Israel," and called for realizing understandings with him.

" There is a belief in the Israeli security agency that Israel and the Palestinian Authority are interested in restoring security coordination between the two sides," the paper reported.

Abbas has announced suspending the security coordination between Palestinian Authority and Israel after announcing the deal of the century, and following Netanyahu declaring his plan to annex Palestinian lands of West Bank and the Jordan valley.   

The paper said that Israeli security agency expected that security coordination will be resumed after reaching understanding regarding economical issues, such as the issuance of work and trade permits between the two sides, and Israel's transfer of tax and customs dues to the Palestinian Authority, which it refuses to receive following the enactment of a law by Israel to deduct the salaries of prisoners and families of martyrs from these dues.

 According to the estimates of the Israeli Security Agency, based on the data of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, about half a million Palestinians in the West Bank lost their workplace and drowned in debts as a result of the Corona crisis, and that this situation has led to the "weakness" of the Palestinian security services, which raises concerns to Israel.

 Senior  Israeli security official told the newspaper that the head of the General Intelligence Service, "Shabak," Nadav Argaman, who is in charge of the Jerusalem region and the West Bank , maintains an open channel with the Palestinian Authority, and that a document was presented that included all possible reactions on the part of the Palestinian Authority to annexation, and the expected scenarios in case the situation is not be softened.

The newspaper added that the stance of the security agency was categorical, which is that,  the agency must  parallel all the steps in the region, and must set a horizon for the Palestinians, and something can be adhered to. 

He indicated that the economic situation in the Palestinian Authority is not at the top of the priorities of the Israeli army chief of staff, Aviv Kochavi. 

It is noteworthy that the total revenues of the Palestinian Authority declined by about 70 percent, due to the clearing crises and the Corona pandemic, according to the data of the Palestinian Ministry of Finance.

The clearance  is the Palestinian tax revenues on its imports from the Israeli occupation and abroad, in return for a 3 percent commission that Tel Aviv collects on behalf of the Authority. The average clearance funds amount to about 200 million dollars a month, from which the occupation authorities deduct about 40 million dollars, in return for services to the Palestinians, especially electricity.

 On May 20, the President of the Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, announced that he was dissolved from all agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments, and from all their obligations, including security, in response to the occupation government's intention to start measures to annex the Jordan Valley and settlements in the West Bank.

 

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