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EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian Authority set to resume security coordination with US Open in fullscreen

Naila Khalil

EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian Authority set to resume security coordination with US

In May, the PA announced it had cut ties with Israel the United States [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 August, 2020

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PA and US security officials re-established contact in a meeting held a fortnight ago, The New Arab can reveal.
The Palestinian Authority has resumed security coordination with the US, The New Arab can reveal, three months after PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced the end of all ties with the US and Israel in protest over plans to annex large swathes of territory in the West Bank.

A high-ranking official from the PA told The New Arab that contact was established between officials of both security agencies a fortnight ago. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to give his name, the source said the development marked the first official meeting since Abbas' dramatic announcement in May.

At the time, the 85 year-old leader said his administration had "absolved" its agreements with Israel and the United States, including in the field of intelligence and security coordination, in protest over unilateral annexation of Israeli settlements.

While Palestinian forces soon pulled back from areas jointly policed with Israel forces, analysts quickly noted that the declaration, like past statements made by Abbas, carried little weight compared to facts on the ground.

Israel, which controls nearly all of Palestine’s entry and exit points, employs tens of thousands of Palestinians and is its main trading partner. The agreements that Abbas claimed to nullify forged the structures which keep him in power, including the PA.

Moreover, the PA recently sent an official delegation to Beirut in a show of solidarity following the deadly port explosion which rocked the Lebanese capital, crossing borders ostensibly in Israeli control and casting further doubt over the veracity of Abbas' claim.

The official who spoke to The New Arab also rebuffed media reports in February last year, in which the US said it had stopped all aid to the Palestinian security services after slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian and development aid.

Read more: US to halt aid to Palestinian Authority security services

The PA had allegedly demanded the funding stop for fear it could expose them to costly lawsuits under the US Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, filed by families of American victims of past Palestinian attacks.

The official who spoke to the The New Arab denied that counter-terrorism to the PA's security apparatus was ever halted.

The PA's leadership is now reportedly set to backtrack on its move to end ties with Israel, informed sources told The New Arab, after plans to annex large swathes of the West Bank and Jordan River were placed on hold following intense domestic and international pressure, as well as a recent controversial peace deal with the UAE.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition. 

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