Since the 1990s, the dominant view in Israel’s national security community has been that Israel’s top priority in relation to the Palestinians is to maintain the stability of their leadership. This is the case in relation to both the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas regime in Gaza.

The rationale behind this view is that despite their hostility, if the regimes lose control things will be worse for Israel, which will have to take over, at great cost in lives and international stature. In other words, it’s either Fatah and Hamas or the Israel Defense Forces. And Israel’s security establishment prefers the former.

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