The PA is pleased with the announcement of 6 European countries which called on Israel in a joint announcement late last week to stop legitimizing the settlements, this was a joint announcement by France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Great Britain and Spain.
The announcement condemned the attack in Hawara but also the “violence of the Israeli settlers against Palestinian citizens” and called for their arrest and prosecution.
Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee welcomed the European announcement.
PA is encouraged by the international support the Palestinians are receiving following the settler attack on homes and residents in Hawara after the murder of the two Israeli citizens and the statement by Minister Bezalel Smotrich regarding the need to wipe out Hawara.
A senior PA official says that Minister Smotrich gave a great gift to the Palestinians by revealing his true face and that he caused great damage to Israel in the international arena.
However, the PA’s position weakened even more on the Palestinian street following its participation in the security meeting in Aqaba and following the events in Hawara.
The Palestinian street opposed the PA’s participation in the security meeting in Aqaba and the deal the PA made with Israel through American mediation, that is, the Palestinians withdrew their appeal to the UN Security Council to condemn Israel for the expansion of the settlements in return for Israel to freeze construction in the settlements for several months.
The PA succumbed to American pressure and participated in the security meeting in Aqaba, however, immediately after the meeting, several ministers in the Israeli government publicly disowned the Israeli commitments at the Aqaba meeting and made the Palestinian participation in the meeting look ridiculous.
The damage to the property of the residents of Hawara caused a wave of criticism and indignation against the PA on the Palestinian street who accused it that on the one hand it is unable to provide security to the residents of the villages in the Nablus area but on the other hand it bows down to Israel and the US and discusses with them in Aqaba ways to eliminate the Palestinian armed groups.
Senior PA leader Hussein al-Sheikh denied that the meeting in Aqaba was purely security-related and claimed that it was also a meeting that dealt with political matters and that no American security plan was discussed, but no one in the West Bank believes his denials. The PA is perceived as one who can not guarantee the security of the Palestinians and serves as the security contractor of the US and Israel.
The Palestinian Authority’s security forces forcibly prevented a press conference in Ramallah last week by the Palestinian opposition bodies that were going to call for the cancellation of the Oslo Accords and the security coordination with Israel and the holding of general elections.
A Palestinian public opinion poll indicated that 72 percent of West Bank residents support the establishment of the armed groups and 87 percent oppose the PA arresting the activists of these groups.
The Palestinian street is dismayed by the corrupt PA government, but PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not moved, he continues to fight for his political survival, the American administration, Israel and the other regional partners still support his rule and he uses it to his advantage.
The Hamas movement maintains its rule in the Gaza Strip and prepares to shake the PA rule during the month of Ramadan with a new wave of terrorism against Israel.
In the meantime, in order to reassure the Palestinian public, Palestinian Authority officials say that the possibility of establishing security committees in villages and towns in the West Bank to protect the residents from the settlers is being re-examined. These committees will also include armed Palestinian security personnel, which could increase friction with the IDF.
The Palestinian Authority estimates that accelerating this idea will increase awareness in the international community of the Palestinian Authority’s demand for international protection of the Palestinians from Israel.