The PA continues its weakening process

The recent events in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reflected the continued weakening of the Palestinian Authority and Abu Mazen's rule. The anger against him on the Palestinian street is increasing, the Islamic Jihad has strengthened in the northern West Bank, the succession battle is intensifying and the Hamas organization is increasing its influence in the international and Arab arena

The IDF's major operation in the Gaza Strip against the Islamic Jihad and the killing of the wanted terrorist Ibrahim Al- Nabilsi in Nablus revealed this week the continued weakening of the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Abu Mazen.
The Palestinian Authority was almost not involved in the Palestinian diplomatic effort to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip, which proves that the Head of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, has lost all control and influence over what is happening in the Gaza Strip, and that his political silence actually confirms his failure.
The one who entered this political vacuum was the leader of Hamas. Ismail Haniyeh, who has been actively engaged in political activity with Egypt, Qatar, Iran, Turkey and the UN to bring about a ceasefire.
Ismail Haniyeh 's political activity has emphasized that the sovereignty over the Gaza Strip belongs to Hamas alone and that the international community also unofficially recognizes this.
The activity of the Palestinian Authority, which was content only with condemning the IDF's operation in the Gaza Strip, indicates its political weakness and that it is quite possible that it is nearing the end of its path.
IDF special forces assassinated in the old city of Nablus the wanted terrorist Ibrahim Al-nabilsi, who was responsible for shooting attacks at Josef's Tomb and IDF forces.
The Palestinian street is furious and calls for revenge, it accuses the PA's security forces of assisting Israel, as part of the security coordination, to assassinate all those who refused to listen to the PA's directives and avoid terrorist activities,

The strengthening of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank

The Islamic Jihad managed to completely push the Palestinian Authority out of the Jenin area, it established a new framework called the "Jenin Battalion" which also includes armed activists from other factions such as the "al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades" of the Fatah movement and even armed activists of the Hamas organization.
This framework began to spread towards Nablus and Tulkarm areas and carried out shooting attacks against IDF forces and settlers.
During the past year, the Islamic Jihad organization, under the direction of Iran, worked to establish an independent area in northern Samaria that would not be subject to the PA's control, a sort of front base for Iran.
Security sources said that Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi led this process through funds He received from the Gaza Strip for the purpose of purchasing weapons and financing terrorist attacks.
Indeed, in practice, in the city of Jenin, in its refugee camp and in the neighboring villages, there are several hundred armed terrorists and thousands of weapons and large quantities of ammunition.

The succession battle continues

The succession battle in the Palestinian Authority continues and even intensifies after Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen appointed his close associate Hussein al-Sheikh to the position of Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee as a preliminary step in training him to be his successor.
The latest scandal at the top of Fatah is an audio tape that was circulated on social media in which the voice of Tawfik Altirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee who sees himself as Abu Mazen's successor, is heard, defaming Hussein al-Sheikh and accusing him of corruption and sexual harassment and calling Fatah Secretary General Jabril Rajoub "a liar",
Abu Mazen imposed sanctions on Tawfiq al-Tirawi, he canceled the security around him by virtue of his position and removed him from the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees of "Al-Istiklal" university.

Abu Mazen wants to survive

The main effort of 87-year-old PA Chairman Abu Mazen is to survive in power , he has reached the end of his political career and his main task is to transfer power in an orderly manner to his associates so that they ensure the peace of his family and the economic empire he has built for his two sons.
He strongly opposes holding general elections for fear of defeat and continues with the existing political situation.
His threats to freeze the Oslo accords and stop the security coordination with Israel are a card he pulls from time to time when the public criticism against him increases, he is waving a gun empty of bullets.
Israel will have to help Abu Mazen to continue to maintain his rule.
Right now Abu Mazen is the best option Israel has, it must avoid collective punishments in the West Bank, provide additional economic relief to the residents of the West Bank and focus on a pin-point war against terrorist operatives to prevent unrest.

Yoni ben Menachem

Senior Middle East Analyst

הערה: הכותב הוא מזרחן ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר

אודות יוני בן מנחם

יוני בן מנחם הוא מזרחן, עיתונאי ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר. הוא בעל עשרות שנות ניסיון בעיתונות הכתובה והמצולמת. דרכו של בן מנחם בעולם המדיה החלה כמפיק של הטלוויזיה היפנית במזרח התיכון. לאחר מכן, הוא מילא תפקידי מפתח רבים בתקשורת הישראלית: מנכ"ל רשות השידור, מנהל רדיו קול ישראל, כתב לענייניי שטחים, כתב ופרשן מדיני, פרשן לענייני המזרח התיכון ועורך ראשי ומגיש התוכנית 'מגזין המזה"ת'. 

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