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Tags: biden | whitehouse | israel | hamas | gaza | westbank

Report: Biden Admin Implores Israel to Stabilize Palestinian Authority

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By    |   Wednesday, 07 September 2022 07:24 PM EDT

The Biden administration wants the Israeli government to stabilize the possibly weakening Palestinian Authority, according to a sourced report from Axios.

In the Axios piece, a pair of U.S. officials expressed concern about the declining situation in the West Bank, fearing an increase in area violence could result in a major crisis for the Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority is the governing body of the Palestinian autonomous regions of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and was established as such in 1994 as a consequence of the Oslo Accords peace agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

For the Oslo Accords, the two sides agreed to mutual recognition and terms whereby governing functions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be governed by a Palestinian council.

During that time, "Israel and the Palestinians were to negotiate a permanent peace treaty to settle on the final status of these territories. The agreements between the sides called for the Palestinian Authority to take control over most populated areas in the occupied territories. Security for those areas would rest with the Palestinian police, although Israelis would be guaranteed freedom of movement," according to Britannica.

Several militant Islamic groups, including Hamas, denounced that peace agreement. As such, the potential for violence remains, according to officials.

Barbara Leaf, a State Department senior diplomat for the Middle East, visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week.

In her meetings with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, Leaf was apprised of the Palestinian security forces' apparent difficulty in maintaining the area.

"The situation on the ground is worse than it seems," Shin Bet director Ronen Bar told Leaf, according to the Israeli sources

Bar, who leads the Israeli domestic security service that collects intelligence in the West Bank and Gaza, also claimed Israel doesn't want to send the military for incursions into Palestinian cities, according to Axios.

Also complicating matters, Bar said the PA has struggled to pay the salaries of security personnel. Plus, Israel has an election coming in November.

Axios reported that, during her most recent visit, Leaf met with Abbas' No. 2, Hussein al-Sheikh, and the director of the Palestinian intelligence service, Majed Faraj.

Al-Sheikh reportedly rejected the Israeli claims that increased violence in the West Bank is weakening Palestinian security forces' control and influence within the area.

Instead, Al-Sheikh blamed nightly incursions by the Israeli military into Palestinian cities.

"They think the [Israel Defense Forces] will operate during the night and we will operate during the day? We can't function when the Israeli military enters our cities every day arresting people and killing people. What do they expect?" al-Sheikh said.

On its website, the State Department characterizes U.S.-Palestinian relations as the following:

"The United States is strongly committed to the development of a secure, free, democratic, and stable Palestinian society and governance. The U.S. government remains committed to a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes that Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security and prosperity. The United States will continue to work with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian people — including civil society — to advance these objectives. 

"In addition, the U.S. government aims to promote and protect human rights for the Palestinian people, and encourages the Palestinian Authority to promote and protect the rights of the Palestinians as it works to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people and enjoy lasting peace with Israel. Supporting a negotiated two-state solution will continue to be a core U.S. policy objective."

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The Biden administration wants the Israeli government to stabilize the possibly weakening Palestinian Authority, according to a sourced report from Axios.
biden, whitehouse, israel, hamas, gaza, westbank
Wednesday, 07 September 2022 07:24 PM
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