Yitzhak Benhorin
October 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier-General Nitzan Alon, cautioned it would be a mistake to cut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority over its push for statehood, in an interview to the New York Times on Wednesday.

Alon believes the United States Congress' decision to halt all funding to the PA due to their bid for recognition at the United Nations will lead to regional instability.

“Stability in the region includes the ability of the Palestinian Authority to pay its salaries,” remarked Alon. “Reducing the Palestinians’ ability to pay decreases security. American aid is relevant to this issue.”

It is no secret that Washington was not pleased with the PA's bid to the UN in September and even attempted to thwart it. However the Palestinians were not impressed, as they decided to submit their bid to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In response, the US congress ruled to freeze millions of dollars originally designated to aid the PA.

In this rare interview, the IDF official set to resign soon addressed the effectiveness of the Palestinian security forces, claiming they are influenced by how they are perceived by the Palestinian public.

“As long as they see them as patriots working to build a Palestinian state, they will be able to keep working with us,” he said. “If there is no political horizon, cooperation is endangered. We can’t do our mission only with military tools,” he said. “Diplomacy and economy are very relevant.”

Alon addressed the issue of what he called "Jewish terrorism," pertaining to violent acts by radical Israeli settlers. He admitted Israel should be "doing more to stop it."

He said Israel should have more police officials working to stop these acts and allocate some of the IDF troops to stop the radical settlers.


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