Egyptian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Rafah city .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Hamas spokesman on Thursday expressed disapproval of a Palestinian Authority official’s announcement that the PA has resumed full security coordination with Israel.
On Wednesday, Police chief Hazem Atallah told foreign journalists that all branches of the PA security forces fully restored security cooperation with Israel two weeks ago.
In July, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced that security coordination was halted in response to Israel’s placement of metal detectors near the entrances to the Temple Mount.
However, in practice, only certain elements of security coordination were suspended. It is unclear exactly which elements were halted.
“Hamas is surprised by the PA in the West Bank’s resumption of security coordination and cooperation with the Zionist enemy, which is the equivalent of the greatest danger to the Palestinian people, its unity and its legitimate rights including the right to resist the occupation,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
Both Israel and the PA carry out almost daily arrests of Hamas operatives in West Bank, which Hamas officials contend is a result of security coordination.
Barhoum added that security coordination “distorts the reputation of the Palestinian people, and its struggles and history.”
Security coordination is highly unpopular in the Palestinian territories.
Seventy three percent of Palestinians supported Abbas’s decision to suspend security coordination with Israel in July, a September poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found.
Nonetheless, PA security officials have defended the policy, asserting that it serves Palestinian interests.
Atallah said of security coordination on Wednesday: “Mostly, this is for our people, the safety of our people and for the rights of our people.”