IDF recommends Israel bolster Palestinian Authority to prevent further security deterioration

Recommendations include enabling PA security forces to acquire more firearms and armored vehicles, and releasing Palestinian prisoners with light security offenses.

November 25, 2015 21:59
1 minute read.
palestinian police

Palestinian Authority police officers stand guard in the West Bank [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF has recommended the government take a series of steps to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and its security forces, which the defense establishment perceives as a moderating influence, as a way to help prevent further deterioration of the security situation in the West Bank and Israel.

Recommendations included enabling PA security forces to acquire more firearms and armored vehicles and releasing Palestinian prisoners with light security offenses.

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Additional suggestions include increasing the number of Israeli work visas for West Bank Palestinians, to bolster the Palestinian economy and to moderate the ongoing terrorism against Israelis.

According to assessments, the IDF has been concerned about the potential future disintegration of the PA for the last two months, a scenario that could occur if violence spikes and spreads anarchy across the West Bank.

Continuing ongoing security coordination between the PA and Israel is an explicit Israeli interest, allowing it to exercise its crucial operational freedom in the West Bank, according to military brass.

Meanwhile, a senior IDF source said on Wednesday the series of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel and daily rioting is a “limited uprising.” This represents a shift in the terminology used by defense officials, who previously described the violence as a “terrorism wave.”

In cases of Palestinian rioting, the IDF seeks to minimize the number of casualties among rioters, as a direct lesson drawn from the events of the second intifada, when casualties triggered wider rioting, according to the official.

The vast majority of Palestinian terrorist attacks since September have been unorganized, according to the source as ISIS’s radical ideology and local social media influence the attackers.

The IDF has increased the number of units in the West Bank and increased the number of searches, arrests and raids in Palestinian areas. One of the aims of the army, the source said, is to break the continuous wave of incidents, to repress the violent trend, and prevent it from becoming a larger situation involving thousands of rioters. A scenario of mass rioting could in turn drag armed terrorist organizations in the West Bank into the disturbances.

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