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Netanyahu's concern for fate of PA 'too little, too late'

Over the years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has weakened the status of the Palestinian Authority and of President Mahmoud Abbas with a variety of means — but is he now suddenly concerned that the PA might collapse?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 3,  2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX20UNX

“We must prevent as much as possible the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, and at the same time we must prepare for the possibility that this could happen,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said upon closing the Jan. 3 meeting of the diplomatic-security Cabinet, which discussed the warning of the security establishment that the days of the PA are numbered. The media has reported for many months that the Shin Bet, the Israel Defense Forces and especially the Civil Administration have been delivering worrying reports to the executive bodies, analyzing the state of the PA and the attitude of Palestinians toward the rule of President Mahmoud Abbas, who has invested great efforts to keep the PA’s institutions operational. These reports conclude that the days of the PA are numbered, given the diplomatic standstill.

In an Al-Monitor article, Uri Savir wrote that the senior members of Fatah and Abbas himself know very well how to read the political map, and they, too, have concluded that in the present situation it is only a matter of time before the PA is dissolved. As a result, it would not be able to pay its employee salaries, and it would lose the meager support it has among the residents of the Palestinian territories.

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