The research departments of Israel's Military Intelligence (MI) and the Shin Bet, the internal security organization, are keeping close tabs on the Fatah convention in Ramallah that starts Nov. 29 — the anniversary of the day that the United Nations General Assembly approved the 1947 Partition Plan. Israeli interest is less directed at the political status of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas within his movement or the destructive power struggles between him and supporters of former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan. Instead, keen Israel interest is directed at possible ramifications of a weakened Abbas on Israel.
According to a report published in daily Haaretz, MI head Gen. Herzl Halevi issued a warning about the situation, in a closed-door conference at Tel Aviv University last week. Halevi said that power struggles in the Palestinian Authority (PA) may lead to a destabilization of the security situation in the West Bank in the coming year. In his estimation, power struggles between Fatah’s rival sectors will give Hamas great achievements on the ground. “The result will be a very challenging reality in Judea and Samaria,” Halevi said.