Shin Bet chief: Don’t help Hamas while punishing PA

Intelligence chief voiced the belief that the PA should not be punished but rather encouraged to continue with its ongoing efforts in helping the IDF and Shin Bet in thwarting Palestinian terror.

By World Israel News Staff 

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency director Nadav Argaman is said to have spoken out at a Security Cabinet meeting on Wednesday against acting in a way which weakens the Palestinian Authority (PA).

He said Israel should not act in a way that undermines the PA, an official self-rule body which is in control of parts of Judea and Samaria, and strengthens Hamas, a terror organization which has ruled Gaza since wrestling power from the PA in 2007.

His remarks contradict IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Aviv Kochavi, who voiced support for an arrangement for calm with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who said he would sign an order to prevent the transfer of monies to the PA because they would be earmarked for terrorists and their families,

Argaman was reiterating a position he had already expressed at a previous meeting of the Security Cabinet, reports Yedioth Ahronoth.

He voiced the belief that the PA should not be punished but rather encouraged to continue with its ongoing efforts in helping the IDF and Shin Bet in thwarting Palestinian terror on the ground in Judea and Samaria, said the report.

Argaman expressed the view, according to Yediot, that the Israeli actions gave the impression that it was acting against a body that was cooperating in the fight against terror while propping up a terror group on the grounds of providing humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister reportedly have come out in favor of agreeing to a short-term state of calm with Hamas, lasting only a year, which is said to call for easing humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the terror group acting to put a stop to attacks against Israel.

In addition, talks would be stepped up on gaining the release of missing and captive Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The IDF believes that it has succeeded in preventing Hamas from wearing down Israel’s resolve.

The Israeli military notes that Palestinian incendiary balloon and kite attacks, along with the fires along the Gazan border, have subsided and the violent protests on Fridays have been reduced, allowing Kochavi to support Israeli cooperation with an Egyptian-Hamas effort to improve socio-economic conditions in the coastal enclave, according to Walla! News.

Like the Knesset, the U.S. Congress has legislated financial sanctions against the PA for providing “pay for slay” payments to terrorists and their families.