palestinian police
Palestinian Authority police officers stand guard in the West Bank [File]. (photo credit:REUTERS)


The IDF has recommended that the government take a series of steps to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and its security forces, which the defense establishment perceives as a moderating influence, in order to help prevent a further deterioration of the security situation in the West Bank and Israel.

Recommendations included enabling PA security forces to acquire more firearms and armored vehicles, and releasing Palestinian prisoners with light security offenses.

Additional recommendations include increasing the number of Israeli work visas for West Bank Palestinians, to bolster the Palestinian economy, in order to moderate the wave of ongoing terrorism against Israelis.

The IDF has been concerned about the potential future disintegration of the PA for the last two months, a scenario that could occur if violence spikes and spreads anarchy across the West Bank, according to assessments.

Continuing ongoing security coordination between the PA and Israel is an explicit Israeli interest, allowing Israel to exercise its crucial operational freedom in the West Bank, according to military brass.

Meanwhile, a senior IDF source said on Wednesday that the series of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and security personnel, and daily rioting, is a “limited uprising,” representing a shift in the terminology used by defense officials, who previously describe the violence as a “terrorism wave.” In cases of Palestinian rioting, the IDF seeks to minimize the number of casualties among rioters, as a direct lesson drawn from the events of the Second Intifada, when casualties triggered wider rioting, according to the official.

The vast majority of Palestinian terror attacks since September have been unorganized, according to the source. ISIS’s radical ideology is having some influence on the attackers, as well as local social media.

The IDF has increased the number of units in the West Bank, and raised the number of searches, arrests, and raids in Palestinian areas.

The source said one of the aims of the army is to break the continuous wave of incidents, in order to repress the violent trend, and prevent it from becoming a larger situation involving thousands of rioters. A scenario of mass rioting could in turn drag armed terror organizations in the West Bank into the the disturbances.

Security forces have also recently foiled a number of Jewish terrorist plots.

Last month, a senior IDF source said that “the way to lower the flames is to not involve the [Palestinian] population. If we have to, we get to the wanted security suspect in his bed, but we do not insert the general population into this circle.

They need to stay outside of it.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post