• Tue. May 17th, 2022

Israeli sources confirm that the Palestinian Authority has taken seriously the threats to stop security cooperation with Israel. The reason is the Israeli plans to annex the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have repeatedly threatened to stop security cooperation over the years, but the threats have never been followed up with action – until now.

Palestinian security forces have reportedly withdrew from Areas B and C in the West Bank to Area A, which is under full control of the Palestinians. They have also reportedly stopped all cooperation with the US CIA.

“A dramatic move,” writes commentator Avi Issacharoff in the Times of Israel

He fears it could have serious consequences for both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. The Palestinian security forces in particular have benefited from the cooperation. Israel has on several occasions provided information to the Palestinian security forces about plans of attack by Hamas and other rival groups against the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas.

The Palestinian security forces will also lose much of their mobility in the West Bank without cooperation, which could increase rivals in their strength.

But it is not insignificant for Israel either. Palestinian security forces have helped avert several terrorist attacks in recent years. They have also repeatedly helped Israelis who have strayed into PA-controlled areas and helped Israeli soldiers who have been driven incorrectly and ended up in their areas.

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There have reportedly been recent reports of confrontations between Palestinian security forces and Israeli troops. Issacharoff fears it could, in the worst case, end in a shootout between the forces and death.

“So what’s the reason Abbas is now taking the threats seriously?” Issacharoff asks.

The Palestinian leadership wants to show muscle by demonstrating that they are willing to sacrifice everything, even if it may ultimately hit them. They want to prove that they will not give in to American and Israeli pressure.

The Palestinians are also encouraged by Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s move, which has warned of “massive conflict” and a possible end to the peace agreement between the two countries if Israel implements the plan of annexation.

“Palestinian officials are now talking openly about even more desperate measures: there is also a will to dismantle and let their entire power structure in the West Bank fall if the annexation continues,” Issacharoff concludes.

Another newspaper commentator, Anshel Pfeffer of the left-wing newspaper Ha’aretz, does not believe there will be an annexation.

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