Palestinian security forces clash with demonstrators in Hebron | File photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma
Palestinian Authority also suspends contacts with the CIA. Hamas welcomes the move, warns Palestinians are “on the verge of a new intifada.”
By News Agencies and ILH Staff Published on 05-22-2020 05:57 Last modified: 05-22-2020 12:20
According to Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen, the move was declared in protest of Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria – a move endorsed in principle by the US.
According to the reports, Palestinian security officials have informed their counterparts in the IDF of the move. While the civil and intelligence coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is expected to continue, it will likely suffer as well.
On Friday morning, Palestinian security forces pulled out of Abu Dis, in east Jerusalem, where they worked with Israeli security forces, who control the area, to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri welcomed the move and threatened that “we are on the verge of a new intifada. … Washington and Tel Aviv are taking advantage of the current situation to take control of the West Bank. We are sparing no effort to prevent this annexation.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (EPA/Atef Safadi)
Israeli media quoted defense officials as confirming that the Palestinian Authority was making good on its threat to end security coordination with Israel.
The severing of the agreements came after PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced Tuesday the Palestinians were no longer bound by agreements with Israel and the US, citing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to move ahead with applying Israeli law to parts of Judea and Samaria the Palestinians would like to see included in a future state.
Abbas has made similar threats on numerous occasions but has never followed through.
“Israel’s annexation of any parts of the West Bank constitutes an existential threat to the Palestinian national project and an end to the two-state solution,” PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the Wafa news agency.
He said that Israel’s plan “breached international law and violated all the agreements signed with us. Therefor, we will no longer abide by these agreements.”
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Washington had been told of the move after Abbas said on Tuesday his administration was no longer committed to agreements with Israel and the United States, including on security coordination.
On cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency, Erekat said, “It stopped as of the end of the (Palestinian) president’s speech.”
Intelligence cooperation with the CIA continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting US peace efforts led by President Donald Trump in 2017, with the sides working together on heading off violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority is based.
But Erekat said: “Things change and we have decided it is time now to change. Security cooperation with the United States is no more. Security coordination with Israel is no more,” said Erekat. “We are going to maintain public order and the rule of law, alone.”