Will Mahmoud Abbas Reject Security Cooperation with Israel?

Extensive security cooperation between the PA and Israel has saved the West Bank from a Hamas takeover and Mahmoud Abbas from assassination. It has also saved the lives of countless Israeli citizens. Speaking to a group of Jewish leaders, Abbas (in a rare moment) said that it is “sacred, sacred.” Yet, writes Steven J. Rosen, security cooperation is also a liability for Abbas, in that it makes him look excessively accommodating with Israel in the eyes of his own population. The strain is sufficient to force us to take Abbas’s threats to end security cooperation seriously:

Recent events have put a strain on the security cooperation that Dayton built in 2005-2010. . . . Many Palestinians in the West Bank as well as Gaza were heartened by the fact that Hamas was able to launch 4,564 rockets and mortars from Gaza into the Israeli heartland, even though few found their targets. Hamas was seen as an effective fighting force standing up to the Israelis, while the Palestinian Authority was dismissed as ineffectual. Many voices were raised calling on Abbas to adopt a more militant posture toward Israel and to end his cooperation with the hated “Israeli regime.” Under this pressure, in recent months PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel, even including the idea that he will terminate the security cooperation with Israel if his political demands are not met.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Mahmoud Abbas, West Bank


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7