PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an international effort to impose his government’s rule on Gaza, it has been learned. Western governments sought to advance a UN Security Council resolution that would confer upon the Ramallah administration a mandate to rule Gaza, which is currently in the hands of Hamas. After they were presented with a draft of the resolution, the PA rejected the document out of hand.
The draft, formulated last September immediately following the 2014 Gaza war, stipulates that Gaza and its border crossings must be effectively returned to administrative rule of the PA, headed by Abbas.
In other news, the Israel Electric Corporation has agreed to stop cutting power to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for the Israeli government’s promise to use some of the Palestinian tax revenues it has been withholding to partially defray the PA’s debt, a senior Israeli official said Thursday.
In addition, Prime Minister Netanyahu has approved a compromise stipulating that both the new Palestinian city of Rawabi and several neighborhoods in nearby settlements will be connected to the water system.
On a different front, it is being reported that security forces uncovered two terrorist cells in December and January that carried out shooting attacks on Israeli targets, the Israel Security Agency announced Thursday. One cell belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) carried out a shooting attack on Israeli vehicles in the Benjamin region, targeted an IDF position in Nabi Salih, and took part in fire bombings and pipe bomb incidents directed at IDF units in the West Bank. Security forces seized four firearms used to shoot at Israelis.
“The members of the cell confessed to their intention to carry out more attacks, including a combined gun and pipe bomb attack on an IDF base, stabbings against soldiers, and kidnapping a soldier,” the ISA added.
A second cell from Bani Naim near Chevron carried out several shootings at Israeli vehicles on Route 60 near Kiryat Arba. During one gun attack, bullets were lodged in an Israeli vehicle. “The suspects turned in a gun, a rifle, and ammunition hidden in one of the suspect’s homes,” the ISA said. A PFLP operative in Hebron confessed to providing some of the cell’s weapons.