Arabs throwing rocks at security forces in Judea & Samaria
Arabs throwing rocks at security forces in Judea & Samaria Shlomo Melett

The Palestinian Authority is reportedly fuming at Israel's decision to step up counterterrorism operations in Judea and Samaria recently, according to a report in Israel Hayom.

"Prime Minister Lapid talks about a two-state solution while on the ground, Israel is conducting operations that make this solution far more remote and contribute to an escalation of violence," the deputy governor of Jenin, Kamal Abu Rob, told the newspaper. "Is that what Lapid meant in his speech [at the UN General Assembly]? Is this what our dream of two states looks like? Do you really think that using more force and conducting more military operations will bring you security? No. The opposite is true. It will only increase the violence and broaden its scope. Our young people see the slaughter, the arrests, the aggression, and the incursions, and they're not prepared to accept it."

Abu Rob insisted that "we will not betray our people and we will not tell our young people not to fight Israel. It is our right to defend ourselves. When your army threatens to enter at any moment without forethought, simply going wherever it wants, this weakens the Palestinian Authority and increases tensions between the street and the leadership. We can deal with our people and the Palestinian security apparatus can impose order in cases where they think this needs to be done. But don't assume that our organizations are going to operate on your behalf. You have to realize that we don't work for you."

According to Palestinian sources, there had been an assumption among PA officials that Israel was going to ease up on its pressure a little and give the PA security forces the space to operate themselves. Nonetheless, the PA has stressed that it will not operate under Israeli pressure and that Israel must now significantly reduce the number of its operations in Palestinian towns and villages.

Of late, the PA has also been passing on messages to the Biden administration, asking the Americans to apply pressure to Israel and persuade them to stop their military operations within Palestinian towns. According to Ahmad Adik, the political adviser to the PA Foreign Minister, Ramallah received positive responses from the Americans but these failed to translate to anything concrete on the ground, leading to a deterioration of relations between the PA and the Biden administration.

"The breakdown of relations with the US administration began after we saw that America was not keeping its promises and commitments to the Palestinian people," Adik said. "Now things have gotten even worse, as we can see that the United States is not applying any genuine pressure on Israel to stop the escalation caused by its operations here. Military measures are not a solution."

"We have told this to the Americans in the hope that they will influence Israeli actions," he added. "We would like to improve our relations with America and things are progressing through official channels, but we aren't interested in playing word games. Whoever believes in a two-state solution needs to announce the commencement of a diplomatic process and also to stop the incursions into our cities."