The West Bank: Israeli annexation, the deal of the century and the pursuit of Hamas | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


The West Bank: Israeli annexation, the deal of the century and the pursuit of Hamas

The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has announced that his country understands Israel’s need to have dominant security control in the West Bank as part of any peace agreement reached with the Palestinians. He said that this is because Washington understands the threat to Israel’s existence if Hamas ever took control of the occupied Palestinian territory in the way that it has controlled the Gaza Strip following the evacuation of Israeli settlers in 2005.

This suggests that the “deal of the century” includes a clear position that Israel will not withdraw from the West Bank to ensure that it does not come under Hamas rule. That is also consistent with recent Israeli statements about its protection of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, which would fall immediately into Hamas hands if such protection is lifted.

Will the status of the West Bank within the so-called “deal of the century” give Israel the right to remain therein, with its “withdrawal” a mere theoretical formality? What will be the position of the PA and the credibility of US and Israeli security concerns regarding Hamas’s ability to take control of the occupied territory, as well as the extent to which the Palestinian movement has the military, popular and organisational capacity to overthrow the PA, despite being pursued by the Authority’s and Israeli security agencies?

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