July 10, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinian Authority Refuses Israel’s Lifeline to Prevent Collapse

July 10, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinian Authority Refuses Israel’s Lifeline to Prevent Collapse

Latest Developments

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on July 10 rejected an Israeli offer to help prevent its collapse in exchange for Palestinian steps to halt key anti-Israel policies. Under Israel’s terms, the PA would cease its activities against Israel in international diplomatic and legal forums, stop illegal construction in parts of the West Bank, end incitement against Israelis, and stop pay-to-slay payments to families of Palestinian terrorists who kill Israelis. In return, Israel would take economic, tourist, and security measures to stabilize the PA.

The PA has been in dire financial straits for years, unable to pay essential workers like teachers, who this year staged rare protests. Yet in refusing the bailout offer, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh vowed to continue anti-Israel efforts in the international arena and reiterated a 2018 pledge by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said, “Even if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners, and their families.”

Expert Analysis

“The PA has been on the brink of collapse for years. Some of this is due to American cutbacks promoted by congressional outrage over ‘pay-to-slay’ budgets. In addition, the PA has lost the support of Gulf Arab states owing to the stagnant and corrupt leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. It is therefore logical to surmise that new leadership and a halt to terror-supporting policies could inject new life into this government, even amidst some of the systemic challenges that it faces. Such steps are long overdue.” Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“The significant increase in the presence of Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and other extremist organizations in the West Bank clearly reflects the PA’s current state, which is undergoing a severe decline. Supporting the Palestinian Authority serves the Israeli government’s best interests, as Iran-backed terrorist groups are becoming a significant threat to the Palestinian government, which, if it falls, would only aid Tehran’s clients.” Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Weak PA Forces Israel to Act

The PA’s popularity among Palestinians is declining due to its arbitrary imprisoning of political opponents, financial instability, and corruption, among other factors. Its lack of legitimacy has led to the proliferation of Iran-backed terrorist groups throughout the West Bank — especially in Jenin and Nablus — and a corresponding rise in terrorist attacks on Israelis.

Palestinian security forces, which previously coordinated with Israel to prevent the growth of terror cells in the West Bank, are unable to patrol areas under their jurisdiction. On July 3, Israeli forces conducted an operation on a terrorist command center in Jenin. Out of 12 Palestinians killed during the raid, nine were confirmed militants, an additional unaffiliated Palestinian died while among a group believed to be throwing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Israeli forces, and two more whom the IDF identified as terrorists died under unknown circumstances.

Biden Criticizes PA

During an interview with CNN on July 9, President Joe Biden said that the PA “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 … there are some very extreme elements.”

Related Analysis

Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman

Iran Foments Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Jenin,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Conducts Major Operation Against Terrorists in Jenin,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Palestinian Politics