Biden wants Israel to help US save Palestinian Authority from collapse

Hady Amr also said Washington expected Jerusalem to advance initiatives to bolster the Palestinian economy.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Biden administration official who is on a visit to Israel this week urged Jerusalem to take steps to strengthen the security relationship with the Palestinian Authority as well as its economy, amid concerns that the PA is in danger of imminent collapse.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr conveyed the message to senior security and army officials, Israeli media reported.

Amr also said Washington expected Jerusalem to advance initiatives to bolster the Palestinian economy, an official close to the matter told the The Times of Israel.

Head of the Shin Bet security agency, Ronen Bar, warned incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week that a collapse of the PA could devastate the security situation. PA security forces were losing control of PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, especially in the cities of Shechem (Nablus) and Jenin which have become hubs of terror activity in recent months.

U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides this week implicitly expressed Washington’s opposition against appointing party head Bezalel Smotrich as the next defense minister.

Smotrich has said that he would advance a plan to extend Israeli sovereignty over Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria, and dismantle the PA.

Read  WATCH: 94-year-old super-voter encourages Israelis to vote

Likud officials on Sunday said that Smotrich will not be granted the defense portfolio, even if it meant sending the country back to elections.