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Palestinian Authority says it cut 'sacred' security ties with Israel, US

February 2, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas leads Palestine Liberation Organization board meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 3 October 2019. [İssam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has cut all ties with the United States and Israel including security relations after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented this week by US President Donald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.

At a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, Abbas reiterated his “complete” rejection of Trump’s peace plan, which calls for creating a demilitarised Palestinian state with borders drawn to meet Israeli security needs.

“We’ve informed the Israeli side…that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties,” Abbas told the one-day extraordinary session to discuss Trump’s plan.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment on his remarks.

In 2014, Abbas described the PA’s security coordination with Israel as “sacred”. Over the years, though, he has threatened repeatedly to end this collaboration with Israel, usually when the PA’s funding is being threatened. Despite this, he has remained true to his 2014 speech, and security coordination between the PA and Israel remains steadfast.

Read: Palestine cancels 1995 Oslo Accords signed with Israel

Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces have long cooperated in policing areas of the occupied West Bank that are under Palestinian control. The PA also has intelligence cooperation agreements with the CIA, which continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting the Trump administration’s peace efforts in 2017.

Abbas also said he had refused to discuss with Trump his plan by phone or to receive even a copy of it to study it, saying:

Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said no, and that he wants to send me a letter…but I refused it

The Trump plan, unveiled on Tuesday, also calls for US recognition of Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank land and of Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.

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