Israel should see Abbas as a partner for peace

Israeli right-wing politicians actually hope for an outburst of violence in the West Bank, even if all politicians know that there is a path to peace with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

al-monitor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, West Bank, Dec. 22, 2018.  Photo by REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman.

Mar 28, 2019

The idea that the Gaza Strip will eventually erupt is entirely predictable.

It should be obvious to everyone that 2 million people living in such dire humanitarian circumstances and controlled by a terrorist organization is the kind of explosive material that will inevitably blow up sooner or later.

On the other hand, the explosion that is unpredictable is the one in the West Bank. There are two main reasons for the sense of relative stability that permeates that region. The first is the constant, stubborn effort by the Shin Bet, with military backing from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), to thwart terrorism. The second is security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces.

They are under orders from President Mahmoud Abbas, first and foremost, to prevent terrorist attacks, even though he is subjected to profound and widespread public criticism because of this. The contribution of the Palestinian security cooperation to preventing terrorism is enormous.

But the current state of stability is threatened by a series of recent developments. Should these coincide, they could cause everything to blow up and result in a major conflagration. These developments are:

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