The Palestinian Authority is failing to control extensive parts of the so-called West Bank. As a result, some of its districts are developing in different directions. This is accelerating the process of the PA’s disintegration.
The three largest cities in the West Bank reveal fractures that are likely to shatter any semblance of Palestinian self-governance.
HEBRON in the southern part of the "West Bank," is the burial site of Israel's patriarchs. It is also King David's first capital city. Today the area's large Islamic clans have linked up with one another. Calling themselves the reestablished the Tribal Council of Mount Hebron, they have sent a delegation to Amman, expressing loyalty to the king of Jordan under the Jordanian flag.
RAMALLAH, in the heart of the "West Bank," is the PA’s de facto seat of government. Regardless, Europe is seeking to organize a phalanx of nonprofit organizations (NGOs) as a political force - in and from Ramallah. Not surprisingly, it is an effort the PA opposes. It wants the NGOs to be under its own rule.
NABLUS, in the northern part of the "West Bank," is a city originally founded by the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72 CE. Today the Islamic municipality of 150,000 is in a tailspin of total anarchy. Under the rule of gangs, there are exchanges of gunfire in the heart of the city and attempts at political assassinations.
The Palestinian Authority's loss of control over the West Bank districts raises questions about its ability to run a state let alone play its part in ensuring Israel’s and Jordan’s security, as required by various agreements and rules of conduct between neighboring states. It also raises questions about the PA's ability to ensure its own security.
This tearing of the Palestinian political and social fabric will only increase as Palestinian Authority President Muhammed Abbas nears the end of his tenure.
On its current course, the fragmented Palestinian West Bank will be a weaker entity than states that collapsed in the Arab Spring.
When the Palestinian entity collapses, the vacuum will be filled by the negative forces that have become the nightmare of the world.
Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, and currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
This is an edited extract of an in-depth study published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The full study by Pinhas Inbari is available at this link: http://jcpa.org/the-fraying-palestinian-political-entity-in-the-west-bank/