The PA has become both an economic and security burden for Israel, and its future hinges on the succession battle within the factions.
Recent reports indicate that the PA is considering declaring financial bankruptcy due to its dire circumstances – a stark contrast to Mahmoud Abbas’s initial proclamation of it as a “great national achievement” for the Palestinians.
Conversely, Prime Minister Netanyahu has openly expressed his intent to strengthen the PA and avoid its collapse.
The American administration is actively pressuring Israel to prevent the PA’s demise, fearing that it could eliminate the two-state solution option.
They also urge Israel not to launch large-scale military operations in Judea and Samaria, as it may accelerate the PA’s collapse, especially with the ongoing terror attacks.
Despite this, the PA has failed to effectively combat terrorism or dismantle armed groups that emerged in the region.
Moreover, it continues to pay salaries to terrorists and incite against Israel, despite its difficult economic situation.
As Mahmoud Abbas steps down from the political stage, Israel is preparing for the future.
Holding general elections for the Palestinian presidency and parliament under the current security situation in Judea and Samaria poses significant challenges.
The Oslo agreement is virtually defunct, with no clear political horizon, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent opposition to a Palestinian state adds to the uncertainty.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with support from Iran, seek to turn Judea and Samaria into a new front against Israel, similar to the Gaza Strip, by establishing rocket production workshops and explosive charge laboratories.
Israel faces the obligation to halt this process, but a military operation in northern Samaria presents risks, as the territory may need to be handed over to the PA’s security forces, who lack the motivation to combat terrorism effectively.
The PA’s reluctance to fight terrorism stems from its leaders’ reliance on support from armed groups, especially as they compete in the succession battle to succeed Mahmoud Abbas.
This creates a dilemma for Israel and demands careful consideration.
In light of these factors, Israel must present a political horizon to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. International pressure, especially if President Biden wins a second term, may drive the need for such an initiative.
It is crucial to prevent security chaos in the region, as it would increase terrorism and potentially force Israel to reoccupy areas A.
The collapse of the PA and the rise of terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria, following the Iranian plan, pose significant threats to Israel’s security, with the possibility of terrorism spreading to Israeli territory.
At present, Israel finds itself in a challenging situation. Maintaining the PA in its current form may be the lesser of two evils, as its collapse would present more difficulties.
Israel strives to preserve Mahmoud Abbas’s rule, buying time to assess the evolving political landscape.
Ultimately, the decision on the future of the PA will likely be made after Mahmoud Abbas steps down and his legal successor becomes apparent, leaving it at the doorstep of the Israeli government once again.
In conclusion, the future of the PA remains uncertain and complex.
Israel must carefully navigate the situation, considering both its own security interests and the potential implications for the broader Middle East.