On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron, one of the latest incidents in a general uptick in West Bank terrorist activity since the beginning of 2022. Danny Zaken contends that the violence is in fact a result of the crumbling of confidence in the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is rapidly losing control over the areas for which it is responsible. A key indicator of this loss of trust, Zaken writes, are recent protests by Palestinians who work within Israel’s pre-1967 borders:
They are protesting against the transfer of their salaries through the banks rather than in cash, as was the case until now. Their lack of trust in the PA causes the workers to oppose the move, which is supposed to help them. . . . Last week I spoke to Amjad, a Palestinian laborer from the Hebron area who has been working in Israel for years and I asked him about his opposition to transferring his salary through the banks. “You [Israelis] are cooperating with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority, and so are the Americans. Every dime that enters the Palestinian Authority goes to the corrupt.”
These harsh sentiments are echoed in countless conversations, and they are completely justified; investigations by international media over the years substantiate the complaints.
The primary beneficiaries of this corruption, as Amjad himself asserts, are the PA president Mahmoud Abbas and his sons. And this isn’t the only problem, according to Zaken:
Another reason for the escalation in the security situation is the approaching end of [Abbas’s] rule. Abbas is over eighty-seven, has postponed presidential elections more than once on various pretexts, and his status, as well as the status of the leadership of the PA as a whole, is being undermined. All this is being expressed in the deterioration of the rule of law.
In Hebron, clan battles involving gunfights have been going on for months with deaths on both sides, and the Palestinian police are powerless.