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PLO council demands end to security cooperation with Israel Open in fullscreen

Fatima Abdul Karim & AFP

PLO council demands end to security cooperation with Israel

Abbas must ratify the council's recommendation [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 March, 2015

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Central council recommends Palestinian authorities "stop security cooperation in all its forms with the occupying power" - a move that needs to be ratified by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation's central council has said it wants to end security cooperation with Israel, in a potentially explosive response to Israel withholding a key source of funds from Palestinian authorities.

The council on Thursday evening said it had decided "to stop security cooperation in all its forms with the occupying power", which it urged to "take over full responsibility for the Palestinian people in the occupied state of Palestine, the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza".

The statement was issued in Ramallah after two days of meeting. The recommendation must be ratified by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

The PLO council said its executive committee would meet to implement the decision, but did not provide a date.

The council's statement also said it had decided to continue its campaign for membership of UN organisations and international treaties, and would push its calls for boycott, divestments and sanctions against Israel.

The central council that is the second highest legislative body in the PLO after the Palestine National Council (PNC).

Security deal on the rocks

The security cooperation pact was set up under the 1993 Oslo autonomy accords which founded the Palestinian Authority. It involves the sharing of intelligence and is considered crucial to Israel for its surveillance of Hamas in the West Bank.

The Palestinians submitted a UN Security Council resolution in December - which was voted down - calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank within two years, and in January joined the International Criminal Court, where they plan to press for war crimes against Israel.

Israel in response froze $127m a month of tax revenues it collects for the PA, rendering it unable to pay tens of thousands of employees and threatening its very existence.

US-backed talks between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in April after nine months of fruitless meetings.

Relations have since further deteriorated, after Israel's devastating summer war on Gaza, and with the Palestinian moves against the Israelis in the international arena.

Tayseer Aruri, a member of the PNC, called on the Palestinian Authority "to bear the consequences and bring forward a programme to implement those decisions".

"If the leaders of PLO factions are serious about stopping security coordination with Israel, then the first thing we should see tomorrow morning is them burning the VIP cards granted to them by Israel as part of this arrangement".

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