There is a Palestinian partner

There is a Palestinian partner

 By Reuven Pedatzur, Haaretz

19.7.2011
 
The strategic choice of the PA leadership is to take actions that are political - not military.
 
At a time when politicos are attacking the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and when over and over again the claim is heard that there is no partner on the other side, it is worthwhile presenting events in the West Bank which, for political reasons, are intentionally ignored. I am referring to the very fruitful and successful cooperation between the Palestinians and the Israeli defense establishment, which developed secretly, and which is one of the reasons why Israeli citizens enjoy such a calm security situation of late.
 
Mahmoud Abbas, the president, and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, fight terrorism. They do not make do with condemnation, but also take action to foil terror. At Military Intelligence they say that, unlike the approach of Yasser Arafat, now "the mouths and hearts of these two are in the same place." Arafat spoke about an agreement with Israel but called for jihad and slipped funds to the Tanzim (the military wing of Fatah ) to fund terrorist attacks. When the current Palestinian Authority leadership condemns terrorist actions, it really means it.
 
The Palestinian fight against terrorism is of course not based on their wish to protect Israeli citizens from suicide bombers. They are fighting against terrorism because it endangers the continued existence of the Palestinian Authority. This is the lesson that Abbas and senior figures in the PA have drawn from the Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip. Since one of the tools that Hamas tries to use in order to undermine PA control in the West Bank is terrorism, it must be fought with full force.
 
Fayyad, whose economic reforms are well known, has also succeeded in improving substantially the work of the Palestinian security forces. Unlike Arafat, who used a method of divide and rule and incited the heads of the many security forces against each other, Fayyad created a hierarchical military-security apparatus which speaks with a single voice. With his approval, emphasis was placed on improving the personal security of the residents of the West Bank. The civilian police began effectively enforcing law and order. Traffic police even enter the refugee camps and vehicles stolen from Israel are returned after a short while.