Ramallah Rock Throwing 311.
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
The government is considering a Palestinian request to transfer security control
of additional territory in the West Bank to PA security forces as a goodwill
gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas.
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The initiative may be linked to
efforts to get Abbas to agree to renew negotiations.
The territory under
consideration to be transferred is in Area B (assigned under the Oslo Accords to
PA civil and Israeli security control) and Area C (assigned under the Oslo
Accords to full Israeli control).
Defense officials said that a new
security agreement was under consideration in accordance to the Palestinians’
request as they seek to expand control over additional parts of the West
The issue reportedly came up during Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s
with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during his visit to Israel
earlier this week.
The IDF has dramatically scaled back its operations
inside Palestinian cities in recent years due to the PA security forces’
effectiveness in cracking down on Hamas and other terrorist
The IDF last year allowed the PA to open police stations
in villages in Area B.
“There are talks about a possible new security
package,” one defense official said on Wednesday. “The Palestinians ask for
different measures and we need to consider them.”
While the IDF might
favor transferring security for certain parts of the West Bank as a possible way
to minimize violence, such a decision is expected to encounter fierce political
The IDF believes that if the PA feels like its authority is
expanding, it will make sure to crack down on terrorist elements and to work
toward containing demonstrations that could break out as the Palestinians move
forward with their bid for statehood at the United Nations.
establishment is also opposed to withholding funds from the PA and is concerned
that stopping money transfers to Ramallah could lead to the PA’s collapse,
anarchy in the territories and ultimately to an increase in violence by
Palestinians dependent on the PA for their livelihood.
Panetta also came
during his trip to Israel on Monday against the decision by
Congress to withhold $200 million in aid.
“Members of the PA security
forces whose salaries are not paid will be less inclined to contain
demonstrations and crack down on terrorist organizations,” another defense
“It is in Israel’s security interest for the aid to