Israeli Arab-Affairs Expert: With Municipal Elections Looming, Palestinian Authority Losing Control of West Bank (VIDEO)
The Palestinian Authority’s grip on the West Bank is weakening, an Israeli expert on Arab affairs warned on Tuesday.
In a video interview released by the think tank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), Pinhas Inbari painted a picture of growing political instability across the West Bank ahead of the Palestinian municipal elections, slated for October 8.
“The Palestinian Authority is getting dismantled,” Inbari said. “Every province is going its own way, and Ramallah is losing its control over the entire West Bank.”
In Hebron, he said, “We have the tribal system getting stronger, and the family rule and the merchants are controlling” the area to prevent chaos.
To the north, in Nablus, Inbari said, “The refugee camps are taking over the city…they are spreading anarchy all around.”
And in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is headquartered, Inbari described tensions between veteran Palestinian leaders — including PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in the 12th year of his four-year term in office — who arrived from Tunis in the mid-1990s after the signing of the Oslo Accords, and Palestinian NGOs that represent local residents. “They are not ready to accept anymore the leadership that came from Tunis,” Inbari said.
On Monday, JCPA Middle East expert Yoni Ben Menachem wrote that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordanian King Abdullah II were concerned that Hamas might win the upcoming municipal elections, the two leaders having discussed the matter during a visit by the latter to Cairo last week.
Menachem previously concluded, as The Algemeiner reported last week, that Abbas felt threatened by the “carrot-and-stick” plan forged by new Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Earlier this month, as reported in The Algemeiner, senior Palestinian Authority officials, speaking with the Hebrew news site Walla, claimed that Israeli leaders were rooting for a Hamas victory in the municipal elections, with the supposed logic being that this would legitimize Israel’s claim that there was no partner for peace negotiations on the Palestinian side.
Watch the interview with Inbari below: