Israel’s Military Faces Delicate Balance in West Bank

Israel’s Military Faces Delicate Balance in West Bank

JERUSALEM — For Israel’s military, maintaining control of the occupied West Bank has been fraught with contradictions in recent months, creating a tension that senior military officials say does not bode well for stability.

The Israeli government imposed economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority to protest the Palestinian leadership’s decision to join the International Criminal Court, withholding tax revenues it collects on behalf of the authority for several months. Yet the military — with the government’s approval — has been trying to maintain Palestinian economic stability and revive the local economy.

The years of relative quiet on the security front have given leaders on both sides more freedom to make decisions without the pressure of violence. But American-brokered peace talks collapsed last year, and instead of agreements, the two sides are engaged in a tense political and diplomatic confrontation.
And while the Palestinian Authority leadership is threatening to scale back its security coordination with Israel — a system of cooperation that is unpopular with many Palestinians — it has helped maintain the calm, and both sides appear to have an abiding interest in preventing a new outbreak of violence.

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