PA: We don’t plan to cut security ties with Israel
The handshake, which was the first between the two leaders since 2010, made headlines in Israel and sparked speculation of a renewal of the long-moribund peace process.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEHUpdated: DECEMBER 2, 2015 05:17
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not intend to suspend security coordination with Israel in spite of his repeated threats, Palestinian officials in Ramallah said on Tuesday.Abbas had threatened to cut off security coordination after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s most recent visit to the region, but Abbas did not indicate intentions to do so during recent meetings with senior Palestinian officials, they said.The London-based Rai Al-Youm online newspaper quoted the officials as saying that Abbas fears such a move would lead to a serious confrontation with Israel, similar to the one that occurred during the second intifada.The paper said that Abbas’s willingness to shake hands with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Paris this week was a sign of his desire to restore calm and open channels of communication with Israel.Rai Al-Youm reported that several Palestinian officials have expressed dissatisfaction with the handshake between Abbas and Netanyahu, noting that it came at a time when Israel was toughening security measures against Palestinians.They also pointed out that the handshake came one day after Netanyahu was quoted as saying he would not transfer any territory in the West Bank to the PA .Palestinian security officials and some Arab parties have advised Abbas not to suspend security or economic ties with Israel, according to officials.PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat downplayed the significance of the handshake, and accused Israel of working toward destroying the twostate solution.In separate meetings with American and British diplomats, Erekat called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions against the Palestinians.He also reiterated his call for international protection for the Palestinians, and repeated his charge that Israel was carrying out summary executions of Palestinians.“The Israeli government is not practicing self-defense,” Erekat said, referring to the state’s response to the ongoing wave of stabbing attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.“Israel is defending occupation, settlements and violations of international law, while the Palestinians are defending themselves and their freedom and independence.”The Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization strongly condemned Abbas for shaking Netanyahu’s hand in Paris. “The blood of the Palestinians that is being spilled in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza damns the handshake with the murderer Netanyahu,” the group said. “The Palestinians who are defending al-Aksa Mosque reject any form of normalization with the occupation.”
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