Such a move, if done, means expanding the Palestinian control, and mainly patting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the back, as if telling him that his diplomatic efforts in the past year were not in vain.
The expansion of control, according to this version, will be expressed in expanding Palestinian police presence in Areas B and C and expanding Palestinian construction in Area C, in addition to economic gestures whose harbinger emerged last Thursday: Israel will allow the Palestinians to install a 3G cellular network in the West Bank.
The core of the economic gestures is the establishment of new industrial zones and an expansion of the existing ones, and there are already talks of selling gas to the Palestinians, building a seaport in Gaza, etc.
But even in the defense establishment, there has been a feeling in the past few months that we are a bit too late. Because one also has to know when to give, and the majority of the Palestinian street is disconnected from the PA. If elections were held in the West Bank today, Hamas would score an overwhelming victory. The PA knows that too.
Last Wednesday, Abbas hosted a rare conference in terms of the makeup of its participants. They included heads of the security apparatus, all the governors and Fatah and Tanzim leaders. Abbas asked his guests to keep the "popular uprising" low key, without any armed components.
While Fatah and Tanzim members are distancing themselves from the PA so as not to be affiliated with what is perceived on the street as a collaboration with Israel, they understand that they are in the same boat as the PA against Hamas. The revolution in Gaza in 2007, which threw the Fatah people from the high buildings and removed them from the government, is only a matter of time in the West Bank.
Both sides - Israel and the PA - are playing with themselves at the moment. The Palestinian street is already on a different court. It doesn’t believe the PA, it despises Israel, and the unrest is changing gears to the third stage: The firearm stage.
If the first stage included young people throwing stones and rioting, and the second stage was stabbings and vehicular attacks, the move to terror attacks with firearms reflects a higher level of willingness to launch an armed conflict. This paves the road to institutionalized terror, which will also include suicide bombers exploding on buses.
In the meantime, alongside the shooting attacks of lone-wolf terrorists who go out with weapons to kill Israelis and die, there are those who only want to die. We are witnessing the development of a new model of a shahid (martyr) who faces solders in order to be shot.
In one of the roadblock, a Palestinian stood in front of a soldier as a bullet-proof glass screen separated between them. The Palestinian pulled out a knife and began piercing the glass. He wanted to be shot.
Over the weekend, three women tried to enter an IDF post in Gush Etzion with knives and a screwdriver. It was clear to them that they wouldn't walk out alive. Someone threw a stun grenade on them, and they were captured.
Israel's gestures to the Palestinians may put the roses back in the PA's cheeks and open a certain door for resuming the peace negotiations. As far as the PA is concerned, it will be a resuscitation attempt; and Israel will buy some time off from international pressure. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may launch a move which will distance the Bayit Yehudi faction from the government and bring the Zionist Union closer, based on the continuation of land transfers to the Palestinians, and it may end with nothing.
The defense establishment internalized a long time ago that the case of beads Israel hands out to natives has already been emptied out. The third stage of terror is already here, and the fourth stage is on its way. We are left with two situations: A real peace move or instructing the army to prepare for an occupation of the West Bank.