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PA security services withdraw from Jerusalem outskirts

A view of deserted Omar Ibn al-Hattab Square in East Jerusalem, on 3 April, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
A view of deserted Omar Ibn al-Hattab Square in East Jerusalem, on 3 April, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian security services withdrew on Friday from several Jerusalem towns which were classified as Areas B and C in the Oslo Peace Accords, Palestinian and Israeli sources reported.

According to Palestinian Authority (PA) sources, this came in the wake of ending security coordination between the PA and Israel over the latter's intention to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israeli news broadcaster Kan, reported by the Times of Israel, stated: "The gesture was largely symbolic — a few officers moving out of the East Jerusalem satellite towns of Azzariyah, Abu Dis, Biddu and Beit Ichsa, after getting special permission from Israel to be there as part of the effort to deal with the coronavirus pandemic."

East Jerusalem is under Israel control, according to the Times of Israel, and PA forces are not regularly allowed to operate there.

READ: Palestine security pulls out of area B in Jerusalem

It is worth noting that last week PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced halting security coordination with Israel.

Following this, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with the PA heads of security services and asked them to stop all forms of security coordination.

According to Shtayyeh: "Israel breached international law and violated all the agreements signed with us and therefore we will no longer abide by these agreements."

Such stances have been declared several times by the PA leadership in response to certain unilateral Israeli measures.

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