PA Threat to Cut Israel Ties Would be 'A Blessing'

Analyst says Israelis and Palestinians alike would benefit if PA leader goes through with threat to disband.

Hillel Fendel ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
STR/Flash 90

The most recent threat by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas against Israel could lead to economic prosperity on both sides of the Green Line. So writes Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis).

Abbas said on Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority would cut ties with Israel if the current draft resolution fails to pass in the UN Security Council. The resolution sets a 12-month deadline for completing final-status negotiations, and the end of 2017 for Israel's withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

"In case of failure," Abbas said, "we will no longer deal with the Israeli government which will then be obliged to assume its responsibilities as an occupier."

"Threatening that Israel will have to 'assume its responsibilities as an occupier,'" Lerner writes, "is a key point. It means that Israel will run the show!"

"If Abbas closes shop in response to the failure of his move in the UN," Lerner says, "Israel will then have to seek the most workable framework for moving on. This would begin with the annexation of Area C" – the areas in Judea and Samaria under full Israeli military and civilian control, with an overwhelmingly Jewish majority.

"This would leave a series of Arab urban centers in Areas B [Israeli military control, PA civil control] – and A [full PA control]," Lerner continued, "with each center having its own municipal leadership that would serve as the interface with Israeli authorities in the absence of the Palestinian Authority."

This would be like winning the lottery for the average Palestinian Arab, Lerner says: "They would have Israeli residence with the option to take Israeli citizenship – something that many of them have long wanted, according to many polls."

How Israel would deal with Palestinians in the other areas "is not yet clear. But since each urban center has and will have its own leadership, it will be possible to differentiate among the areas in a 'carrot and stick' approach. That is, if the mayor and municipal leadership cooperate with Israel, their residents there will only benefit."

 "From Israel's economic perspective," Lerner writes, "this would be a windfall, as a massive return of legal Palestinian workers begins, replacing the many foreign workers from overseas. At the same time, Arab economic activity in these areas will also take off with Palestinian factories increasing sales to the Israeli market and also acting as subcontractors for Israeli companies."