No State by 2008; No Palestinian Authority

Zakariya Zubeida, warns that the Palestinian Authority will collapse unless a State is established by the end of 2008. Israel should try and create a 'safety net' for negotiations and upgrade the Palestinian Authority to help it survive.
The weekend Ha'aretz reports an interview with Zakariya Zubeida, the former leader of the Jenin Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, in which he warns against Abu Mazen gambling everything on negotiations and warns that the Palestinian Authority will collapse unless a Palestinian state is established by the end of the year.

Although there seems to be some understanding within the Government of the grave consequences of the failure of negotiations (as expressed by Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's recent comments), Israel does not seem to have made preparations for such an eventuality. (See The Palestinian 'All or Nothing' Trap and Is Israel preparing for the failure of the Annapolis Summit?)

The Reut Institute has previously warned that failure of negotiations could result in a Hamas take-over of the West Bank, the collapse of the PA and a Palestinian inversion towards the Two State Solution. (See: Failure of the Political Process: The Danger of Dissolution of the Palestinian Authority).

To prevent this, Israel should consider trying to change the 'All or Nothing' Dynamic of negotiations Zubeida refers to by creating an agreed safety net with the Palestinians if achieving a PSA is deemed to be impossible. Israel should also work to strengthen the PA through the transfer of powers and authorities in the economic and diplomatic realms that are currently under Israel's control. This could be done in parallel to negotiations and independent of their outcome. (See: The Day after the Annapolis Summit - Preparing for the Failure of the Political Process).

Sources

Avi Issacharoff, Ha'aretz, 4/4/08; full article.

Jerusalem Post, 4/5/08, full article.