Tomer Zarchin
September 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Security coordination between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian security forces has proven its effectiveness in the face of heightened tensions over the Palestinian Authority's application for membership at the United Nations last week. Large-scale demonstrations in PA-controlled towns were kept from spilling over into other areas of the territories that are controlled by Israel.

Despite a substantial increase in the number of stone-throwing incidents directed at Israeli cars in the West Bank, and a number of clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers, five standing IDF battalions that were deployed in the West Bank in preparation for a possible escalation have not been necessary as of now.

Last week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed his professional staff at the Justice Ministry and the Public Security Ministry that if the invocation of emergency regulations became necessary - due to mass disturbances of public order - he would consider having the government propose appropriate legislation on the subject, thereby allowing public debate.

As reported in Haaretz last week, the Public Security Ministry has a contingency plan that would expand government emergency powers if widespread disorder was sparked by the Palestinian bid for statehood.

The Haaretz report prompted condemnation from legal experts, who claimed that the invocation of emergency regulations in effect bypasses the Knesset and violates civil liberties.

Following a complaint to the Justice Ministry by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel on the matter, an assistant to Weinstein responded that emergency regulations would not be put in place without confirmation by the attorney general that they were necessary and proportionate in scope.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017