Sharm el-Sheikh summit highlights PA’s ‘legal right’ to security responsibility in Area A

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp during an Israeli army raid, March 7, 2023. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP)
Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp during an Israeli army raid, March 7, 2023. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP)

A joint communiqué signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority after a regional summit in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt highlights the “legal right” the PA has to carry out security responsibilities over Area A of the West Bank.

The IDF regularly enters Area A, however, and such incursions have increased significantly over the past year as Israel seeks to combat an ongoing terror wave stemming largely from the northern West Bank where the PA has lost significant control.

In the previous regional summit last month in Aqaba, Jordan, Israel urged the PA to do more to regain control over the northern West Bank, telling participants that the more Ramallah acts against armed groups in the region, the less the IDF will have to enter Area A for raids that have become particularly lethal in recent months, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel at the time.

Despite Israel’s assertion at the Aqaba summit that the PA security forces play a more active role in the West Bank, the issue was not included in the communiqué that was issued after that meeting. The decision to include it in the release after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit indicates progress on this issue.

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