Why No PA-'Israel' Agreement Will End The West Bank Armed Struggle
Despite attempts to paint the two security summits as serving a common Palestinian-Israeli aspiration for calm, the reality is something evidently much more sinister.
Two controversial meetings between the Palestinian Authority and "Israel" have now taken place, allegedly aimed at reducing tensions throughout occupied Palestine and combating newly formed armed groups inside the West Bank. Despite the best efforts of the US to end the revival of the armed struggle, there will be no way to return to the old status quo, and attempts to achieve this will prove futile and bloody.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), against the wishes of the Palestinian public, attended a second “security summit” on Sunday in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, designed for it to work with the Zionist entity to stop unilateral actions and combat Palestinian Resistance inside the West Bank. This summit served as a follow-up from a previous one, held in Aqaba, Jordan, back in February, where Israeli, American, Egyptian, and PA officials all met to implement steps that tighten cooperation and to bring an end to the current escalation.
Despite attempts to paint the two security summits as serving a common Palestinian-Israeli aspiration for calm, the reality is something evidently much more sinister. The US Biden administration has repeatedly expressed its own concerns over the ever-rising tensions inside the West Bank. So far this year, nearly 100 Palestinians have been killed and Palestinian armed attacks on settlers and soldiers are proving to be a serious challenge to the Israeli entity. Bill Burns, the current director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has even stated on record that the current environment inside the occupied territory replicates much of what he had witnessed during the early 2000s.
The most notable development in previous months has been the alleged acceptance of a US proposal for restoring relative calm to the West Bank. The proposal, now dubbed “the Fenzel Plan”, was drafted by US security coordinator Michael Fenzel and seeks to help the Palestinian Authority create a special West Bank task force; which they would then use to crack down on Resistance movements. Since September of 2021, when the Jenin Brigades armed group declared itself officially, thousands of young Palestinian men have flocked to join and set up Resistance groups throughout the West Bank. There has also been a significant uptick in lone-wolf attacks against Israelis, often in direct retaliation for "Israel’s" raids that result in the murder of Palestinians.
On March 31, 2022, "Israel" launched what it called “Operation Break the Wave," which ushered in an escalation of violent raids into Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps. Last year was the deadliest for West Bank Palestinians since 2005, according to the UN, and things only seem to be getting worse. On the flip side, nearly 50 Israelis have been killed in attacks since the launch of “Operation Break the Wave," constituting the deadliest period for Israelis in the occupied territories since the early 2000s also. This is to say that "Israel’s" insistence on escalating violence and murdering Palestinians in a brutal fashion is doing the opposite of what they claim they are seeking, which is to crush the armed struggle.
Before both the Aqaba and Sharm El-Sheikh summits, "Israel" committed massacres against Palestinians, and while both meetings were taking place, Palestinian Resistance attacks also occurred against Israeli settlers in Huwara town, located near Nablus. The US Biden administration has repeatedly sent delegations to meet with Israeli officials this year, resulting in repeated claims in the Western media about Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, having accepted to curtail and/or delay illegal settlement expansion and refrain from other unilateral actions, all of which were almost instantly violated shortly thereafter. Despite this, the PA continues to engage in talks with Israeli officials, despite leading Israeli Ministers like Bezalel Smotrich stating openly that he believes Palestinians do not even exist as a people.
The PA could have been on the right track to regaining much of its long-lost trust, from within Palestinian society, when in January it announced the end of Security Coordination with "Israel". This was the third time that the PA announced this step in recent years, again failing to follow through with its commitment and instead opting to meet with their occupiers; in order to negotiate over how they can work together to fight the Palestinian Resistance. The PA has also upped its anti-Hamas rhetoric in past weeks, heightening tensions to a level that has not been seen since 2014.
Although it would be in the personal interests of PA politicians, Israelis, and the US government to reach a point of calm inside the West Bank, the way of openly collaborating with Washington and "Tel Aviv" is only working to the opposite effect. More than one Palestinian every day is being murdered in the West Bank, both resistance fighters and civilians are included in the dead, which is greatly impacting the public inside the entire territory. The Zionist entity is the most extreme - in terms of its rhetoric - in history, and it violates every understanding it comes to with the US and the PA. If the Palestinian Authority continues to work toward dismantling the armed struggle, it may end up finding itself in a defeated position.
As we see in the wider region, exemplified by the recent Chinese-negotiated diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world has entered a new era. The days of total US-Israeli dominance in the Middle East have passed, the Zionist entity itself is facing an internal crisis, and begging the Israelis for scraps will not quiet the revolutionary fervor of the younger generation of Palestinians in the West Bank.
There is a new Palestinian generation, completely disconnected from the era of the "Oslo Accords" and one that has no prospect of any peace through diplomacy at this time. If the PA is going to help "Israel" crack down on the Resistance forces in the West Bank, eventually it will be treated as an extension of the occupation, and the US is encouraging this to happen. Instead, the only way for the PA to maintain its power long-term is to join in on this battle and harness the power of the armed struggle politically. The armed struggle will not go away with violent repression, and even if the new generation of fighters are completely defeated, there will be another armed surge in the future. The Palestine cause is not one that can be solved by shooting or arresting Palestinians, it will only ever end when Palestinians are granted their full rights and regain their country.