US pressures PA chair to implement US security plan for Jenin, Nablus
The security situation in parts of the West Bank has grown increasingly tense
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the Palestinian Authority leader to adopt an American security plan aimed at re–establishing the PA’s control in areas under its purview, especially the cities of Jenin and Nablus in the West Bank, U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios.
The security situation in parts of the West Bank, known as Samaria and Judea, has grown increasingly tense, with Israel – looking to remove terror cells in the PA -run areas – facing inability or unwillingness from the PA side.
Last Thursday, Israel conducted an operation in Jenin to arrest a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror cell which was reportedly planning an exceedingly imminent attack. In Jenin, gunmen on a rooftop fired upon Israeli forces, resulting in a firefight that left 9 Arabs dead – the majority of whom were members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups.
On Friday evening, an Arab resident of Abu Tor in Jerusalem killed seven civilians and wounded another three in a mass shooting outside a synagogue in another Jerusalem neighborhood. Then, Saturday saw a pair of shootings, one at the hand of a 13-year-old Arab teen. His school textbooks were found to contain incitement to murder Israelis.
The PA has gradually been losing control of its cities in recent years to terrorist factions affiliated with organizations, such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This power shift has led to an increase in violent clashes between Israeli forces and armed terrorists.
Israeli officials say they have no choice but to continue military raids in the area, because Palestinian security forces are not doing their jobs.
“U.S. and Israeli officials say they see the decrease in the PA’s security control as a key reason for the escalation,” reported Axios.
The Biden administration allegedly wants to see a de-escalation of the security situation to avoid a third intifada, a violent uprising against Israelis.
At a press conference at the end of his visit to Ramallah, Blinken said there are “some concrete ideas from both sides that, if pursued, would really help defuse the current situation.”
“The immediate task is to defuse this cycle of violence. … Neither side should take any unilateral actions that, right now, potentially would add fuel to a fire,” he said.