Abbas to convene PA leaders amid calls for ending security cooperation

The Fatah leaders said that Israel’s latest actions and policies “confirm the failure of the plan for confidence-building measures” between the Palestinians and Israel.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank March 27, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank March 27, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

Leaders of the ruling Fatah faction on Thursday urged the Palestinian leadership to implement resolutions calling for halting security coordination and terminating signed agreements with Israel.

The Fatah leaders said that Israel’s latest actions and policies “confirm the failure of the plan for confidence-building measures” between the Palestinians and Israel.

They were referring to statements by Defense Minister Benny Gantz about the need for confidence-building measures between the two sides.

During his last meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Gantz announced his intention to “continue advancing confidence-building measures in economic and civilian areas.”

Gantz also emphasized the Israelis’ and Palestinians’ shared interest in deepening security coordination and preventing terrorism and violence.

The call by the Fatah leaders to cut all ties with Israel came amid rising tensions in the West Bank, where five more Palestinians were killed by IDF soldiers in the areas of Ramallah, Jenin and Bethlehem over the past 48 hours.

 Palestinians attend a rally marking the 57th anniversary of Fatah movement foundation (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN) Palestinians attend a rally marking the 57th anniversary of Fatah movement foundation (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The appeal also came as Abbas called a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Sunday to discuss the latest flareup of violence and the possibility of implementing the resolutions concerning the Palestinians’ relations with Israel.

PA officials expressed outrage over the massive IDF security operation and the killing of several Palestinians. The officials warned that Israel’s measures were hurting the PA leadership and severely undermining its credibility among Palestinians.

One official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas’s decision to convene the PA leadership was aimed at signaling to Israel that he is willing to give it until Sunday to calm the situation.

In the past two weeks, Abbas and the PA leadership have come under immense pressure from the Palestinian public to cut all ties with Israel, especially security coordination, in response to the ongoing IDF security crackdown that began after the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Beersheba, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv.

In February, the Palestinian Central Council (PCC), the PLO’s second most important decision-making body, decided to “terminate the commitment” of the PLO to all agreements signed with Israel.

The non-binding resolution was announced after a three-day meeting of the PCC in Ramallah.

The PCC decided to suspend the PLO recognition of Israel until it recognizes an independent Palestinian state “on the 1967 borders.” It also decided to suspend various forms of security coordination with Israel.

A similar resolution was endorsed by the PCC in 2018, but was not immediately implemented by the PA.

In 2020, however, the PA announced that it decided to suspend cooperation with Israel in protest of the since-shelved plan by the government of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apply Israeli sovereignty to portions of the West Bank.

Six months later, the PA reversed the decision, saying it received confirmation that Israel remained committed to all signed agreements with the Palestinians.

On Thursday, members of the Fatah Central Committee, the faction’s highest decision-making body, held an emergency meeting in Ramallah to discuss the latest developments related to the growing tensions and violence with Israel.

At the end of the meeting, the committee published a statement calling for the immediate implementation of the PCC resolutions.

The committee accused Israel of “waging war” on the Palestinians.

“The Fatah Central Committee condemned the occupation government’s disregard for the lives of our people by unleashing the Israeli army and settler gangs to carry out field assassinations and military incursions and continuing the policies of settlement, annexation and confiscation,” the statement read. “This confirms the falseness of the alleged truce that the prime minister of the occupation tried to promote, and the failure of the project of confidence-building steps.”

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that the PCC resolutions regarding the relations with Israel will be “placed on the table of the Palestinian leadership in the coming hours,” a reference to Sunday’s planned gathering.

“Israel is playing with fire and things will not remain as they are,” he said.