PA won’t halt security coordination despite tensions, Ramallah official tells 'Post'

Jerusalem affairs adviser in the PA president’s office warns against Israeli “massacres” against Muslim worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

 Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting with journalists in the West Bank cityof Ramallah on July 03, 2019. (photo credit: FLASH90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting with journalists in the West Bank cityof Ramallah on July 03, 2019.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

The Palestinian Authority will not sever its ties with Israel or halt security coordination between the Palestinian security forces and the IDF despite the latest wave of violence and tensions, a PA official in Ramallah said Sunday

Also, the PA will not allow Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to undermine security and stability in the West Bank, the official told The Jerusalem Post.

He also called on Israel to stop its “provocative and aggressive” measures and practices against the Palestinians, particularly during Ramadan, which began on Saturday.

The official’s statements are an indication of the PA leadership’s desire to prevent a further escalation of tensions with Israel, especially in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and the killing of Palestinian gunmen and activists by the Israeli security forces.

The PA security forces were making a “big effort” to stop Hamas and PIJ from launching attacks against Israel “because this does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people,” the official said.

 Palestinians take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) Palestinians take part in the funeral of two Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes, during their funeral in Jenin, in the West Bank, March 31, 2022. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

The PA leadership has faced criticism from many Palestinians for refusing to implement decisions taken by Palestinian institutions to halt the security coordination and suspend PLO recognition of Israel.

But as some officials in Ramallah have been talking about the need to calm the situation, others continue to make inflammatory statements against Israel.

Ahmed Ruwaidi, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs in the PA President’s Office, warned against Israeli “massacres” against Muslim worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

The Israeli authorities have decided to escalate the situation in Jerusalem by arresting people and targeting the worshipers, he said.

“Dangerous statements by settler leaders affirm that they intend to carry out attacks against the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem,” he added.

Ruwaidi’s warning was reported by Wafa, the PA’s official news agency.

Meanwhile, Hamas and PIJ announced they have agreed to continue and strengthen their coordination in the political arena and on the ground.

The agreement was announced after a phone conversation between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PIJ Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhaleh. Haniyeh is based in Qatar, while Nakhaleh resides in Lebanon.

“Resistance is the choice around which the free and the brave rally,” Nakhaleh said in a speech on Saturday night. He was commenting on the killing of three PIJ gunmen by the Israeli security forces near Jenin.

Nakhaleh urged Palestinians to “continue in the path of the martyrs until victory... We will continue our march to Jerusalem and to Palestine until liberation.”

Representatives of several Palestinian terrorist groups who held “important consultations” in the Gaza Strip on Sunday continued to issue threats against Israel.

“Any criminal act of the occupation will be met by our people and its resistance with stronger and more intense resistance,” the groups warned in a statement.

They stressed the need to continue working “by all forms and means to strengthen and expand the resistance against the occupation.”

“There is no security, no security and no stability for the occupation until our people attain their freedom,” the statement read. “We will continue the path of resistance until the occupation is expelled and the lands and holy sites are liberated.”

The consultations in the Gaza Strip were attended by leaders of PIJ, Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, National Initiative Movement, Popular Front-General Command and the (Ba’athist) As-Sa’iqa.

The chances of escalation are much greater than a truce with Israel, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Mardawi was quoted as saying.

The recent Israeli security measures in the West Bank and Jerusalem will backfire and intensify the tensions, he said.

In Ramallah, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of “systematically destroying the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state through settlement construction, land appropriation and house demolitions.”

His allegations came during a meeting in Ramallah with Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, the Swiss special envoy for the Middle East and North Africa.