According to what various Arab sources have told the Tazpit Press Service, it appears that the Palestinian Authority accepts in principle an American security plan designed to help the PA take control of northern Samaria.
American involvement in security coordination, training of Palestinian Authority special forces, security coordination with the IDF, and active American oversight of the points of friction between PA Arabs and “settlers” are the main points of the US operational plan to stabilize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ control. PA security personnel have been involved in numerous terror attacks.
However, TPS has learned that the US plan requires a change in the PA Arab’s perception of the armed groups, and that Abbas has already presented conditions for its implementation.
The American plan, prepared by the coordinator for security affairs at the US Embassy, Mike Fenzel, is based on the training of Palestinian Authority special forces to take over Jenin and Shechem (Nablus). As part of this effort, 5,000 currently serving Palestinian Authority security personnel, will undergo special training on Jordanian soil under US supervision. The plan has Jordanian and Egyptian approval.
At the end of the training program, the Palestinian Authority forces will be deployed within the cities and neighborhoods (aka “refugee camps”) of Jenin and Shechem to eradicate the armed terror groups.
The plan states that no additional PA Arabs will be recruited into the security mechanisms and that the new headquarters will be based on the existing personnel as well as the equipment in the hands of the PA security mechanisms. In theory, this means the practice of absorbing terror groups into the Palestinian Authority security apparatus will no longer continue.
The deployment of Palestinian Authority forces in northern Samaria will take place as the Israel Defense Forces reduce their activities, within the framework of American-supervised Israeli-PA security coordination. This clause reducing IDF activity in the American plan was a key PA condition.
In an ongoing sweep against terror in Judea and Samaria, Israeli security forces thwarted over 500 terror attacks and arrested more than 2,500 suspects. Operation Wave Breaker was launched following a surge of PA Arab terror attacks in the spring of 2022 which killed 19 people.
TPS has learned that Abbas recently directed all of his security mechanisms to operate at a particularly high intensity, especially in places where Israelis may be in danger and also in Palestinian Authority controlled cities. He specifically instructed officers that they must act as if there is full security coordination with Israel.
Various sources say Israeli-PA intelligence coordination maintained “reasonably,” though the PA avoid direct meetings with IDF officers.
Sources in the Israeli security establishment told TPS, “Palestinian willingness to accept the American plan in principle is indeed evident, but so far there is no sign that the Palestinians intend to start and implement all of its clauses on the ground as well.”
Points of Friction
Additional sections of the US plan include an increased presence of Western security forces in areas where clashes between PA Arabs and Jews take place, mainly in the area of Shechem, and possibly in southern Judea as well.
The Tazpit Press Service has learned that various Western parties will participate in surveillance teams in the areas of friction, especially when PA Arabs clash with Israeli security forces.
The American plan is supposed to be a change from the Palestinian Authority concept, which currently prefers to open communication channels with the armed terrorist groups in Shechem and Jenin.
While the US prepared this operational plan, Washington, Egypt and Jordan in recent weeks applied very heavy pressure on Abbas.
Arab sources told TPS that officials in Ramallah “are determined to avoid a situation in which their forces will operate in northern Samaria at the same time as the continuation of the operation, which the IDF began several months ago,” adding, “This in light of the fear that they will be perceived as traitors and collaborators, if they operate shoulder to shoulder, with IDF soldiers against the armed groups.”
Akram Rajoub, the governor of Jenin, told TPS, “Without confirming whether we have accepted the plan or not, I tell you that the Palestinian Authority is open to any plan it has to stop the unilateral Israeli measures, and besides, the Palestinian Authority does not have any plan that would strengthen its control in the region.”