Alwaght- Severely concerned about tense conditions and growing wave of armed operations in the occupied West Bank these days, the Israeli officials blame Palestinian Authority (PA) and its president Mahmoud Abbas for this security crisis. But the PA officials blame the current developments on the Israeli escalation of tensions with the Palestinian resistance groups.
Cooperating in intelligence and security areas with the Israeli regime since 1993 Oslo Accords and providing valuable services to the Israelis, the PA is division-stricken these days in the leadership and lower organizational layers. On the other hand, the Israelis, which need their intelligence and security assistance to tighten the grip on the West Bank are bending over backwards to prevent gaps within the PA body. But things are not going as Tel Aviv leaders wish and divisions are widening day by day among the top leaders and also the lower security layers, setting off the alarm bells to the Israeli regime.
In recent months, there have been news about the emergence of differences among the PA leaders and the debate about the succession of Abbas. These differences have progressed to the extent that in recent days Palestinian informed sources reported the kidnapping of the manager of the office of Tawfiq al-Tirawi, a member of the central committee of the Fatah movement, by an unknown group. The group conducted the kidnapping as inter-PA differences intensified. These sources emphasized that recently due to the health condition of Abbas, the battle over his succession has raged and al-Tirawi, who holds high security positions, is one of the candidates to replace Abbas. Therefore, the wider the gap in the PA body, the more difficult will be the work of the Israelis, and the frequent meetings and contacts that have been made between the officials of this regime and Abbas in recent months are all indicative of the fact that Tel Aviv is struggling to keep in the power Abbas through whom the Israelis can carry out their plans against Palestinian groups in the West Bank.
In this relation, the Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar at a meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara A. Leaf held that Tel Aviv supports strengthening the PA but since the Israeli election period is highly sensitive, making decisions on the issue is very difficult. Sources close to Shin Bet director said that he is severely concerned about the PA situation and its security power. The fact is that a weak and submissive person like Abbas makes the PA a puppet helping the Israelis control the Palestinian fighters.
During his presidency in Ramallah, Abbas has always been in line with Israel's policies and has not allowed the Gaza resistance groups to penetrate into the West Bank and has repeatedly arrested members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements under various pretexts in order to prove his good service to Tel Aviv and receive a small budget to run the body his controls.
In the past days, the Israeli security services claimed that they had arrested a team affiliated with Hamas that was planning to carry out an operation against the Israelis in the West Bank, and it seems that the arrest of these people was made with intelligence assistance from the PA, an action that resulted in Hamas reaction. The movement urged the PA security services to end the arrest of Palestinian fighters as soon as possible and stop security cooperation with the Israelis, and warned about the continuation of security cooperation between the body and the Israeli regime in pursuit of Palestinian activists.
Hamas press secretary Dawoud Shehab recently called PA "Israel's security guard", adding that Oslo Accords were a disaster for Palestine with its consequences still affecting the country.
"The signatories tried to divert the national Palestinian struggle from liberation but these measures backfired," he said.
West Bank at boiling point
Although Tel Aviv and the PA are trying to control the security situation in the West Bank, the tensions between the Palestinians and the Israeli occupation is intensifying day by day, to the point that the Israeli and American officials are warning about the eruption of a new intifada in this region. The Shin Bet called for the tightening of security measures in the northern West Bank and warned that the West Bank is getting out of control and recommended that the army and security services tighten security measures before the situation slides out of control.
Israeli media outlets have repeatedly published pictures of hundreds of Palestinians attacking the Israeli forces with stones and even firearms, and said that the anti-occupation struggles no longer belong to just Jenin or Nablus, and they have seen these pictures in every city and village and even in the suburbs of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) in West Bank. These reports fuel Israeli concerns about explosion of the security situation across the West Bank.
The PA and Abbas himself are opposed to any armed struggle and have tried so far to arrest the Palestinian fighters who intend to launch suicide attacks against the Israelis and prevent the West Bank from becoming another Gaza.
PA and Israeli efforts have so far delivered the reverse and many Palestinians in the West Bank have chosen the armed struggle path as they are frustrated with the PA approach not helping liberate their territories. The increase in suicide attacks, which make a nightmare to the Israelis, over the past year suggests that the Palestinians no longer approve of the PA and find it a puppet of Tel Aviv bringing the Palestinians to Israeli prisons in return for cash.
Resistance groups duplicated in the West Bank
Though so far their only arm in the anti-Israeli struggle has been stone, the West Bank Palestinians are shifting to firearms and grabbing the calm from the Israeli eyes.
In addition to the leadership crisis, the PA is suffering in the lower layers as its staff who once worked in security and intelligence posts are now leaving. In the past three months new resistance forces rose to existence in the West Bank, battling along with their brothers to take back their usurped lands from the occupiers. After Islamic Jihad-affiliated Tobas Brigade announced existence in the West Bank in July and has launched several operations against the Israelis so far, Arin Al-Osoud group recently announced its existence and vowed firm resistance and aiming its arms at "the occupiers, settlers, and mercenaries helping them." Arin Al-Osoud contains dozens of forces defected from the PA and picked Nablus as its bastion and promised to strike the Israelis anywhere and anytime.
In recent days, the West Bank saw an increase in suicide attacks by this nascent group, doubling the worries of the Israelis who tightened the security measures in the West Bank, Al-Quds, and other occupied territories. The Israeli security authorities are so terrified they recommended the settlers to carry arms to self-defend in case of Palestinian attacks.
Still, conditions look more difficult than before to the PA and Israeli government. The fighters in the emerging resistance groups once served as security and intelligence forces but separated their ways as the PA continued its submission to the occupation. Inspired by Gaza-based resistance groups who made considerable gains in the past decade in wars against the Israeli regime, these forces are ratcheting up their anti-Israeli struggle. The fast growth of suicide attacks and resistance groups in recent months in West Bank can tip the scales in favor of Palestine and deal blows to Tel Aviv from two fronts and bring it to its knees as both Islamic Jihad and Hamas are throwing their support behind them.
Until recently, Palestinian attacks were carried out by cold weapons and only wounded the Israelis but with the firearms, the Israelis see an increase in their fatalities and become confused on the way of dealing with these groups.
That the Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid for the first time at the United Nations General Assembly upheld two-state solution shows that this yielding to the Palestinian demands is not a favor but because of his despair in the face of the Palestinian groups. Thanks to their sacrifices, the project to Judaize Al-Quds will also fail.