Israel’s latest campaign against Palestinian Sovereignty
Another attempt to subvert the Palestinian Authority under the ruse of “security”

Israel’s latest campaign against Palestinian Sovereignty <br> Another attempt to subvert the Palestinian Authority under the ruse of “security”

Last week saw daily Israeli raids against a large number of organizations and businesses in Nablus and its surroundings: Nablus Mall, Al Aqsa Islamic Bank, the mosques of Al Rawda, Al Satoun and Al Salahy as well as a number of charitable organizations, medical centers and businesses only top the list. These raids were preceded and accompanied by other incidents—in Jenin, Hebron, new ‘Askar and Balata refuge camps, among others—where Israel issued orders to close down Palestinian organizations.


The systematic Israeli campaign against Hamas-affiliated organizations in the West Bank is a rampant violation of the Oslo agreements, in that it effectively reinstates Israeli control inside area A (areas under full Palestinian control). Its direct effect is to undermine the PNA: this is both an excuse for future violations and a diversionary tactic within the context of the ongoing negotiations. Israel hopes to saw further divisions among the Palestinian factions and to divert the Palestinian leadership's attention to internal issues rather than to handling the Palestinian cause itself.


The timing of this campaign came right after the Gaza truce, which is an accomplishment for Hamas that Israel seeks to reverse. (It is a setback for the Israeli policy of isolating Hamas in the Palestinian territory, and a contradiction to Israel's efforts over the past couple of years to prevent the international community from accepting Hamas as an elected government.) One aim of the Israeli violations is to provoke Hamas to retaliate, which in turn would provide a justification for the Israeli Government to round-up Hamas activists in the West Bank (particularly in Nablus, which is known to be a Hamas stronghold) and to deport them to Gaza. Subsequently, this could mean that the prisoners which Israel will release as part of the Schalit deal would be transferred to Gaza rather than to the West Bank.


The end goals of this campaign are to further separate Gaza from the West Bank, both politically and geographically, to weaken the PNA, and to accelerate the Israelis' expansionist plans in the West Bank before any future agreements and pressures from the US force them to stop. The raids play into this policy also in that they consolidate Israeli control over area A and discredit the Palestinian Authority: Mahmoud Abbas' administration is shown to have little control over the areas under its jurisdiction, and little power to protect Palestinian civilians from the incursions. If it fails to react appropriately to the Israeli violations, it would be seen by its own constituency as an Israeli puppet government, and thus would fall victim to a classical divide and rule stratagem designed to strengthen the occupation. Israel hopes to provoke a Hamas reaction not only against itself, but also against the PNA, and to use the chaos that would ensue as an excuse to accelerate settlement activities and building the segregation wall as well as to delay dismantling checkpoints and transferring any more territory to PNA control.




Prepared by 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Israeli Violations