Israel’s Security Cabinet did not vote during its meeting Sunday on a recommended package of concessions to the Palestinian Authority. The decision to postpone a vote on the package came in response to intense pressure being exerted on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Biden Administration on one hand, and from the Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionism parties on the other.
“This is not the right atmosphere to bring it to the cabinet table,” a political source told Israel’s Channel 12 News in a reference to a deadly terror attack on Saturday that killed 42-year-old Israeli police officer Chen Amir in Tel Aviv.
In the past few days, a team led by National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi and the head of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, Maj. Gen. Ghasan Alyan, drafted a package of economic and defense measures intended to prevent the Palestinian Authority from collapsing.
But following Saturday’s terror attack, Netanyahu decided to delay discussion on the measures. Instead, the package intended to prop up the Palestinian Authority is to be brought back to the Security Cabinet for final approval “soon, maybe as early as this week,” the source said.
“The Americans know that we will confirm this soon and they are fully coordinating with us. These are not concessions or rewards, but decisions that will help the Palestinian Authority to maintain a better economic life, and this is a security interest first and foremost,” the source said.
Israel’s KAN News public radio broadcaster reported that the Palestinian Authority leadership warned that if concessions were not approved at Sunday’s meeting, they would boycott a planned international security summit expected to follow up the US-run meeting in Aqaba this past February. Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said at the time that at that meeting, Israel and the Palestinian Authority had agreed on the need to “commit to de-escalation on the ground.”
JNS contributed to this report.