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Israeli security cabinet votes to prevent PA collapse, nixes relief measures

Vote passes despite opposition from far-right members

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, July 9, 2023. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Israel's government coalition security cabinet met on Sunday evening to discuss the status of the Palestinian Authority and how to prevent its collapse, in light of recent developments involving the Hamas terror group and Israel's recent counter-terrorism operation in the Jenin refugee camp.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a resolution calling on Israel to work to prevent the Palestinian Authority’s collapse.

Despite some heated discussion, the cabinet voted to adopt the resolution 8-1, with one abstention.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir voted against the proposal and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich abstained.

The proposal called for the Israeli government to take “steps to stabilize the civil situation in the Palestinian arena” while simultaneously acting with determination to thwart terrorism.”

It did not, however, include any details in how to prevent the PA’s collapse.

“In the absence of a change in the national assessment, Israel will work to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority while advancing the demand to cease its activities against Israel in the international legal-political arena, from the incitement in its media and education systems, from payments to the families of terrorists and murderers, and from the illegal construction in Area C,” read the proposal.

On Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden said the PA has been weakened during an interview with CNN.

“I think that the fact that the Palestinian Authority has lost its credibility, not necessarily because of what Israel's done, just because it's just lost its credibility, number one; and, number two, created a vacuum for extremism in the – among the Palestinians,” Biden said. “There are some very extreme elements.”

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in March found that 77% of respondents demanded the resignation of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and 57% believed the weakening or collapse of the PA strengthens Palestinian armed groups, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lion’s Den.

There have been increasing concerns about the collapse of the PA both within the Israeli government and internationally, due to the belief that it would lead to increased violence in the Palestinian territories.

Ben Gvir, the controversial far-right minister who lead the Jewish Power party, commented on the proposal that he voted against during the cabinet meeting.

“You live in a fantasy world if you believe that the Palestinian Authority hates us less than Hamas,” he stated. “They call for the murder of Jews in the textbooks, say that the Jews are unclean, pay salaries to terrorists.”

“If they are strengthened, the guns will be pointed at IDF soldiers. Incidents have already happened,” Ben Gvir explained.

The cabinet did not approve any economic concessions which would require the approval of the Finance Ministry, and they agreed to continue the policy of penalizing the PA over its payments to the families of terrorists.

According to local Hebrew media reports, following Ben Gvir’s vote against the proposal, the national security minister will no longer be involved in concessions related to preventing the PA’s collapse.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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