An Israeli proposal on how to stave off a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) urges the Palestinian Authority to do what it was meant to do over a decade ago: govern effectively and provide regular government services to its citizens.
Recently presented to Palestinian officials during a closed conference at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the plan is based on the government of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas setting up a welfare system in Judea and Samaria to rival the one established by Hamas years ago.
Hamas rode public appreciation of its social welfare programs, as well as its success in killing Jews, to an landslide victory in last year's parliamentary election.
Only by providing equal or better services than Hamas can Abbas maintain control in Judea and Samaria, Ha'aretz quoted from the proposal. Otherwise, Israeli officials see Hamas seizing power in the so-called West Bank within two years.
The Palestinians often complain that due to Israeli restrictions, their economy is unable to provide basic services. However, the Palestinians are the largest recipients of foreign aid per capita of any nation or autonomous entity on earth.