Monday, August 09, 2021

Arab news site claims to reveal agreement between the US, Israel and Palestinian Authority. The supposed leak might be the bigger story.

Arabi21 claims to have received details on an agreement between the US, Israel and Palestinian Authority that was hammered out by US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr during his visit last month.

The agreement includes many of the things that Israel would insist upon, so the report might be credible.

According to Arabi21, the agreement was was signed on July 14. It includes the US imposing strict control over the Palestinian media and educational curricula, and the reactivation of the tripartite American-Israeli-Palestinian committee to track and report on incitement in Palestinian media.

It is also said to address the "pay for slay" issue, where the US and Israel would modify the Palestinian Prisoners Law in ways that would be acceptable. 

Additionally, the agreement is meant to strengthen the Palestinian Authority by providing strong auditing mechanisms against corruption and misuse of funds, with major US accounting firms like PriceWaterhouse performing the audits.

The US also asked the Palestinian Authority to credibly investigate the apparent murder of Nizar Banat, to be completed within three months, to regain PA credibility on the Palestinian street.

Perhaps more interesting than this story is the leaking of this story. If it is true, or partially true, it means that someone who works in the US State Department leaked it - and they chose to leak it to an Arab news site. Only an Arabic speaker would choose Arabi21, a site that is barely known to the Western world.

If the leak is legitimate, it was done to embarrass the Palestinian Authority. We know that because the end of the story quotes the source as saying "the document, with what it reveals of American and Israeli interventions, reveals the truth about who runs the Palestinian Authority."

It is also notable that the leak doesn't include any concessions to the Palestinian Authority itself, which any real agreement would do, which hints that there are other sections of the alleged agreement that were not leaked - in order to make the PA look as bad as possible.

All of this means that if it is found out that the story is true or partially true, there is someone in the State Department who is actively working to undermine the Palestinian Authority and try to boost more radical Palestinian factions. 

That might be bigger news than the reported agreement itself.