With four days remaining until Israeli sovereignty is applied over parts of Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority has once again issued what it calls its doom’s day threat: that if there is an annexation, they would deliver the weapons of the PA security forces to the IDF headquarters in Judea and Samaria near Bet El, and transfer the responsibility for security in the area to Israel, Kan 11 News reported Saturday night.
Ahead of the discussions of Israel’s sovereignty move that are planned for this week at the White House, the administration attempted to hold a telephone conversation between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but Abbas refused to take the call. This was the final American effort to get the PA to cooperate with the Trump peace plan before the United States went ahead without them.
The round of meetings at the White House will cover whether the US gives the green light to the move and the scope of the annexation. And so the Arabs have not lost yet another opportunity to lose an opportunity.
Meanwhile, PA senior officials in Ramallah last week met with representatives of the CIA. No one has mentioned it, but it won’t be out of the question for Israel, through the US, to continue funding the Arab security forces in Judea and Samaria, as well as pay the salaries of employees of the governmental bureaucracy, to prevent the catastrophic outcome designed by the PLO.
The IDF prevented Arabs from participating in a rally in the village of Bardala against the annexation in the Jordan Valley Saturday evening, and blocked the roads leading there. In addition, soldiers stopped and questioned motorists at checkpoints Hamra and Taysir, the two checkpoints that allow passage between the Jordan Valley and the PA, and did not allow passage to non-residents.
The IDF spokesman said that the checkpoints were placed as part of the preparations for “demonstrations that turn into violent riots and friction with residents of the Bardala and Tubas area.”
Chairman Abbas is signaling the European, the Americans and everyone else that if Israel imposes its sovereignty even on the most minimal area, the PA will be dismantled. But there was a civil service in Judea and Samaria before the PLO took over in 1994 – it was better and less corrupt, incidentally – and Israel should be able, with help from the US, to make sure the civilian population receives its services, including security.
The PA is expecting that Israel would apply sovereignty to the Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel blocs.
It isn’t clear whether Israel would want to risk a breakdown in relations with Jordan over sovereignty in the Jordan valley, which is probably the most crucial territory to maintaining Israel’s peace.
One of the messages the PLO has conveyed to the Europeans and the Americans: as soon as there’s an annexation, we have already compiled lists of all weapons and ammunition in the hands of the PA security forces. We will bring them in trucks to Bet El, place them there, and let Israel take responsibility for security on the ground. The PLO is also expected to declare that the Palestinian Authority is no more, and lay off hundreds of thousands of government employees.