“I have never seen the Palestinian Authority in a worse situation,” Amr reportedly told the Israeli official.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A senior Biden administration official warned Israel in a recent meeting that the Palestinian Authority is near collapse, urging the Jewish State to strengthen the ailing government or risk facing a situation in which Hamas and other terror groups come to power.
Hady Amr, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, landed in Israel Sunday and met with both Palestinian and Israeli officials.
An Israeli government official told Axios that Amr had raised the alarm regarding the PA losing legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinian public, and said the institution’s loss of control could pose serious security issues for Israel.
“I have never seen the Palestinian Authority in a worse situation,” Amr reportedly told the Israeli official. Speaking about the economic and political crisis the PA is currently facing, he likened the situation to a “a dry forest waiting to catch on fire.”
The coronavirus pandemic plunged PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria into the deepest economic crisis in years, and recent political events have called PA president Mahmoud Abbas’ political legitimacy into question.
Abbas cancelled Palestinian national elections that were slated to take place in May 2021, blaming Israel for not stating if it would permit polling places in eastern Jerusalem.
But according to opinion polls, Abbas is wildly unpopular among the Palestinian public. It is widely believed that his real reason for the cancelling elections — the first that were to take place since 2006 — was to maintain his grip on power, as he likely would have been unseated by his rivals from Fatah or the Hamas terror group.
Hamas has surged in popularity among Palestinians on the heels of Operation Guardian of the Walls. According to a poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 53% of Palestinians said that Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” with only 14% saying the same of Abbas.
Shortly after the cancellation of the elections, the death of activist Nizar Banat in PA custody sparked widespread protests throughout the area.
Amr encouraged Israel to strengthen the crumbling PA, suggesting measures the Jewish State could take to shore up the economic situation in the region and help the current government remain in power.
“If you want the US to help, we will be happy to do it,” Amr reportedly told the Israeli official.