Palestinian Authority Ends Security Operation with Israel

May 22, 2020

by: Kate Norman

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Palestinian police in Bethlehem

Friday, 22 May 2020 | Angered by Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty over land in Judea and Samaria as well as the Jordan Valley, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has ended security cooperation with Israel, Israeli sources confirmed Thursday.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement earlier this week, proclaiming that the Palestinian government in Ramallah is ending all agreements with Israel and the United States. It isn’t the first time he’s made such an announcement, however. In fact, Abu Mazen, as he is known among the Palestinians, vowed to sever cooperation with Israel in January after the release of President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

His promise was fruitless—prompting many to write off this week’s announcement as another “cry for help.” Nonetheless, Israeli and Palestinian sources have confirmed that this time Abu Mazen is following through.  

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with Palestinian security chiefs on Thursday to discuss the logistics of moving forward without cooperation and contact with Israeli security forces, according to Wafa Palestinian news agency.

“Israel’s annexation of any parts of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] constitutes an existential threat to the Palestinian national project and an end to the two-state solution,” Shtayyeh said, as quoted by Wafa.

“Israel has breached international law and violate all the agreements signed with us, whether the political, security, economic, and legal agreements,” the PA prime minister continued. “From now on, we will no longer abide by these agreements.”

Though the PA takes verbal shots at Israel on a regular basis and refuses to recognize the Jewish state as anything other than “the Zionist occupation,” a lot of coordination between the two entities goes on behind the scenes.

The halt of security coordination means gone are the days of the PA tipping Israel off on a planned terror attack or allowing the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) into Palestinian-controlled villages to conduct arrest raids on terrorists. It also means the potential end of Israel tipping the PA off on planned attacks and assassinations from Hamas or other enemies of the PA. The halt in communication could lead to a rise in tensions and a spike in violence.

Fatah, a leading PA political party, provided a glimpse into the potential new normal when it posted a video on Thursday that appeared to depict Palestinian security forces preventing an IDF jeep from entering PA-controlled territory, screaming at the Israeli soldiers and gesturing wildly for them to go anywhere but forward.

The tensions started when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at the swearing in of the new Israeli government that one of its top priorities would be annexing land in Judea and Samaria in accordance with President Trump’s peace proposal.

The PA has cried out for the international community to join it in condemning the Jewish state for daring to implement authority in the biblical heartland—and many have answered the call. Multiple European and Arab nations as well as the European Union, the United Nations and even the Vatican have criticized Israel and are discouraging Jerusalem from moving forward with its plans to begin annexation as early as July.

Posted on May 22, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 22, 2020)

Photo Credit: James Emery/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org