Instead of addressing the innumerable Human Rights abuses committed by the Palestinian Authority’s corrupt regime, the CIA may well be preparing to intervene and install a new puppet in order to save Israel from having to confront the costs of maintaining an illegal military occupation in the West Bank.
Palestinians across cities in the West Bank, but chiefly in Ramallah, have been participating in daily demonstrations and acts of protest against the Palestinian Authority (PA), calling on its President Mahmoud Abbas to resign. The protests come as a reaction to the torturing to death of popular PA dissident Nizar Banat, by Abbas’s forces, with video having shown the security forces pulling Banat out of his home, beating him, late last month.
In response to the demonstrations, PA police and preventative security forces have actively worked to repress as much activity against them as possible. Demonstrators have been tear gassed, beaten, arrested, and attacked by plain clothed PA forces, with the PA even stealing the phones of activists, allegedly using content from those phones as blackmail.
Despite the crackdowns, Palestinians have continued to put their lives on the line to stand up for freedom of speech and to oppose what they see as Israel’s subcontractor for its occupation using a Palestinian face to do the oppression rather than an Israeli. The PA’s forces have even paraded around like gangsters, allegedly opening fire upon a critics Dental Clinic. The clinic based in Taffouh town (near al-Khalil), is owned by Dr Ghanam Rezeigat who had recently taken a strong stance against the PA’s assassination of Nizar Banat. In addition to this, tens of Palestinian journalists have been arrested or beaten, including multiple female journalists.
With it looking likely that the PA’s days are perhaps numbered, the desperate “tin-pot dictator, surrounded by sub-mediocrities”, as Professor Norman Finkelstein has described the PA, has resorted to requesting crowd control equipment from Israel.
We are often told that the PA and Israel are enemies, but the reality is quite different. The Israeli government needs the PA, just as the Palestinian Authority needs Israel. If the illegitimate regime – since his term in office expired in 2009 – of Mahmoud Abbas, an unelected de facto dictator, was to fall, Israel would then have to take control of millions of Palestinians in the densely populated civilian city centres.
Currently the PA, which was created out of the Oslo Accords (1993 and 1995), has partial control of roughly 39% of the occupied West Bank and their control amounts to protecting Israelis from armed attacks, spying on Palestinians for Israel, handing over political prisoners, and policing Palestinians. The Israeli military, although deciding fully what goes on in 61% of the West Bank, only has to deal with a few hundred thousand Palestinians daily, because it leaves the most densely populated areas to the PA to manage. If this system falls apart, Israel will face resistance it has not seen since the second Intifada, perhaps even worse.
Speculation has spread, due to the burden a collapse of the PA would put on Israel, that the US government is perhaps seeking now to replace the PA with a new line of dictators. The first on that list, suspected of acting on the US’s behalf, is the former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
According to Arabi 21 News, Salam Fayyad, had recently visited Gaza for three days in order to “feel the pulse”, for the US, as to whether he could lead a new Palestinian Unity Government. If true, this would mean that the US would like to facilitate a Hamas, Fatah unity government, which would just simply carry a different face, but all the same problems, in order to kill the democratic will of the Palestinian people. Fayyad, a former PA-finance Minister who first worked for the International Monetary Fund from 1987 to 2001, is exactly what Palestinians are fed up with. He is a man accused by his own former allies in Fatah of setting up a CIA-backed electoral list in 2006, and he claims to have been against torture and brutal suppression of speech, yet his record in power as Prime Minister had shown that both took place.
The alleged push from the US comes as PA intelligence chief Majed Faraj has just made his first trip to discuss coordination with the CIA in Washington. According to a security source within the PA, speaking to Shehab News, Faraj had warned Washington that the popularity of Hamas is rising in the Arab world and is an urgent matter to address. The meeting between the Faraj led PA delegation and their CIA counterparts was officially to discuss “stability in the West Bank” against the backdrop of recent events, as well as the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.
It seems that in order to stay in power, the US and Israel may both look for new ways to support the PA, to which Israel grants power and the EU and US provide funds. Another possible way, other than undermining Hamas and replacing the current PA Prime Minister, would also be to oust Mahmoud Abbas and find him a replacement. The most likely candidate for this replacement, which some speculated the US was floating last year under the Trump administration, is former PA Preventative Security Service chief Mohammed Dahlan. Dahlan currently works as the UAE’s right hand man, when it comes to intelligence, and had even started his own electoral list in the lead up to the cancelled Palestinian elections, planned to have taken place this year.
Whatever the US and Israel choose as a strategy to keep the PA in power, they will not give up and allow Hamas to grow as a power in the West Bank without action. This was well demonstrated in 2006, after Hamas won the Palestinian democratic legislative elections in a landslide. The US, Israel and Fatah [Party of Abbas] – all ostensible advocates of democracy – crushed democracy in Palestine, with a military coup headed by strongman Mohammed Dahlan.
The danger of the current predicament is that if Palestinians fight to achieve the ousting of the corrupt businessmen of the PA, they will be severely punished by the US and Israel, which will fight tooth and nail to ensure that their puppets survive.