השבעת הממשלה הפלסטינית החדשה
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minster Mohammad Shtayyeh
Photo: AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minster Mohammad Shtayyeh

Top PA officials slam 'confused' response to West Bank annexation

Senior Palestinian Authority sources say leadership issuing contradictory positions even as it strangles the middle class by refusing Israeli tax revenue transfers during economic crisis while its own members live in comfort

Elior Levy |
Published: 06.29.20 , 11:46
Senior Palestinian Authority officials have voiced criticism of the PA leadership's "confusing" response to Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
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  • According to senior Palestinian sources, PA officials have expressed dissatisfaction behind closed doors over what they call "conflicting and confusing positions of the political leadership when it comes to combating annexation."
    השבעת הממשלה הפלסטינית החדשההשבעת הממשלה הפלסטינית החדשה
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minster Mohammad Shtayyeh
    (Photo: AFP)
    Anger was also directed at Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh over his announcement of a government aid package worth tens of millions of shekels for Palestinians who live or work in the Jordan Valley.
    The sources said PA officials have not received even a partial salary for almost two months because of Ramallah's refusal to accept monthly tax payments from Israel - worth approximately half a billion shekels each month - due to the PA severing ties with Israel over the annexation.
    Meanwhile, there is a growing sense among the Palestinian middle classes that the PA leadership has offered them up as a sacrifice in the fight against annexation while they themselves continue to enjoy the financial stability and benefits that come with power.
    עצרת מחאה של הרשות הפלסטינית נגד תוכנית הסיפוחעצרת מחאה של הרשות הפלסטינית נגד תוכנית הסיפוח
    Palestinians protest against the annexation in the West Bank city of Jericho
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Nor does Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas escape censure, with the sources saying that while he has assured the public that the Arab world will provide a $100 million safety net, they have so far received nothing.
    These contradictory statements, the sources say, create a sense of mistrust in the government in Ramallah.
    Meanwhile, for the past two weeks the PA has prepared various scenarios regarding the potential fallout from the Israeli annexation.
    According to the scenarios, annexation will trigger an increase in shootings, stabbings and other attacks against Israeli targets mainly across the Green Line and not in the West Bank.
    פגישת ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני מוחמד אשתייה עם ראשי המנגנונים הפלסטינים ברמאללהפגישת ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני מוחמד אשתייה עם ראשי המנגנונים הפלסטינים ברמאללה
    Mohammed Shtayyeh chairing a meeting of the PA leadership in Ramallah
    (Photo: Archive)
    Palestinian officials who saw the presentation of these scenarios said there is an assumption that Hamas or Islamic Jihad will try to carry out a suicide bombing in retaliation for the annexation.
    "Political despair plus a deep economic crisis could lead to a scenario that has not been seen here for more than a decade,” said the PA sources.
    “It will be a scenario in which people will no longer care if they live or die, and therefore some will prefer to die as martyrs [in a suicide attack].”
    The sources stressed that while the PA currently has control, its grip is expected to loosen significantly after annexation is announced.
    “Why would the people in charge be motivated to thwart terrorist attacks if they don't have a salary?" the sources said.
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