17:32 GMT22 February 2020
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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)
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    On Thursday, the central council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization adopted a resolution to end longstanding security coordination with Israel, but left decisions on when or whether to implement such a measure to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — Palestinian Ambassador to Russia told Sputnik he welcomed a Palestinian leadership body's initiative to halt security coordination with Israel, but believes this measure may undermine stability in the region.

    "This step serves as a warning to Israel from the Palestinian Authority: there are things that we still can do," Fayed Mustafa told Sputnik, adding, however, that cutting security collaboration between two sides is likely to undermine security and stability in the region.

    "I believe this step may weaken the ongoing security efforts, still Palestinian people are not interested in violence," he said stressing that Palestinians will continue their struggle with occupation in a peaceful manner according to the international law.

    The PLO council said that its move followed Israel's decision to withhold the tax revenue it had been collecting on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority, totaling $127 million per month, after Abbas applied to join the International Criminal Court and pursue war crime charges against Israel.

    "Israel pushed us to cancel security coordination because it never upheld any obligation under signed agreements between two sides except the security coordination," Fayed Mustafa stated.

    He also reminded that the PLO council resolution was adopted given the fact of "Israel's daily military raids throughout the Palestinian territory, attacks against civilians and properties."

    Meanwhile, on Friday Al-Hayat newspaper reported citing a source close to President Abbas that the PLO's decision was just a recommendation, and that Abbas would not make a final decision regarding the bilateral security cooperation until after Israeli national elections on March 17.

    On Thursday, The Guardian reported citing a security official from Israel, that Israeli ties, including security coordination, with the Palestinian National Authority remained unabated.

    For his part, on February 21 after his meeting with the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that the possibility of the Palestinian government cutting security cooperation with Israel was still real and was fraught with grave consequences in Israel and beyond.

    The security cooperation, which was set up under the 1993 Oslo Accords, established the Palestinian National Authority and includes the sharing of intelligence, which helps Israel keep a watchful eye on Hamas Islamic movement.

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (463)


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