Is Netanyahu Setting A Trap For The Palestinian Authority?

by David Mark

As the July 1st date for Prime Minister Netanyahu to announce Israel’s extension of sovereignty to areas within Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority is warning of an uncontrollable response by those Arabs living in Israel’s Biblical Heartland.

While the extension of sovereignty will most likely only be over three main blocks in the beginning, the PA understands that any move by Israel to declare these areas part of the Jewish State requires a serious reaction. The question is what reaction is the PA planning?

Most observers and experts believe that the PA is planning on using limited violence, possibly against communities that do not share the same consensus as the three main blocks. Intelligence officials now claim that the PA is taking a similar posture as they did just prior to the Second Intifada.

Bibi’s Trap Being Set

The current opposition to the Trump Peace Plan by a majority of residents in Judea and Samaria caught the US Administration off guard. Considering the fact that most believe Bibi was the co-author of the initiative – what went wrong?

It is clear that Netanyahu has no interest in truly passing Trump’s plan, but rather needed it for reelection purposes as well increasing support from the Israeli populace for unilateral actions.

For Netanyahu it is enough to declare sovereignty on a small part of Judea and Samaria without acceptance of the Trump formula. This provides him with the ability of appearing to move forward on sovereignty, while not doing enough to harm relations with Jordan or even Europe just yet. It also splits the Settlement movement between consensus areas (with the Jordan Valley coming a few months later) and isolated Settlements.

The Prime Minister can then appear as responsible and not over zealous while letting the more than likely violent reaction by the PA drive his next moves which would appear legitimate in the eyes of Israel’s body-politic.

This is of course a trap that the PA has no ability to avoid. If they do not react, the street will never forgive them. If they over react, the Trump will most likely give Netanyahu free reign to deal with him as he needs.

In truth, the Trump Peace Plan never made any sense. It was either an amateur attempt at a final status map or designed as a catalyst to allow for maximum latitude in applying sovereignty whenever necessary.

Regardless, tensions continue to rise precisely because nothing is known of Netanyahu’s moves. Will he apply sovereignty? Where will he apply it and what will be the reaction by Palestinian Arabs?

We are nearing our own inflection point. After it is crossed, Israel will never be the same.

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