Changing Patterns of International Involvement?

Transfer of funds to the PA through channels that bypass Hamas, as well as the rise of new international mediators, raise questions about American dominance and the possibility of a new balance of power in the Israeli-Palestinian context.

Last Monday, approximately 100M USD were transferred to the PA by the Arab League and Saudi Arabia. The money was transferred directly to Abass' office, in a channel meant to circumvent Hamas. Until now, the Arab League has refrained from transfering the funds, fearing American sanctions.

Re'ut Institute contends that U.S. economic and political pressure exerted against Hamas has, in effect, induced the involvement of new international actors in the Middle East. Hence, a new balance of power is gradually evolving in the Israeli-Palestinian arena.

Attesting to this possible trend are:

  • EU predominance in re-structuring the financial-aid mechanisms to the PA;
  • Growing involvement of Arab League officials in the financial-aid sphere;
  • Expanding role of Egyptian mediation in Israeli-Palestinian, as well as internal Palestinian issues;
  • Russian and Turkish attempts to mediate in the kidnapped soldier affair.

It seems that this trend is slowly eroding the Israeli and American ability to maintain an international front of economic-political pressure against Hamas. Therefore, Israel should reframe its perception regarding the growing activity of non-US actors in the current affairs.