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Israeli-Palestinian security forces continue to cooperate on critical matters

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) formal position that security coordination with Israel remains frozen, some degree of coordination is ongoing.

Earlier this week, PA security arrested two family members of an assailant who attempted to stab IDF soldiers earlier this week. Abdullah Takaatka was shot and killed when he tried to stab IDF soldiers at the Gush Etzion junction two weeks ago. His uncle and cousin were arrested in the Bethlehem area.

PA security forces have also recently arrested several Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists operating in the West Bank.

Other examples of low-level security cooperation include Israel transferring bodies of four terrorists to their families for burial and IDF arrests and police operations in Area A of the West Bank.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas suspended security coordination in protest at the installation of metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount compound after a 14 July terrorist attack which killed two Israeli policemen. The installation sparked two weeks of widespread violent protests and condemnation from the Muslim world.

According to PA officials the sides would cooperate on “critical matters,” but full security coordination with Israel has not yet resumed.

Maariv reports that PA official Mahmoud al-Habash outlined several conditions for full security coordination to resume, which include, Israel ceasing all activity in PA-controlled Area A of the West Bank; Israel guaranteeing free movement of Palestinian civilians without restrictions; and respecting PA sovereignty at border crossings.

Israel and the PA consider security coordination critical to maintaining security and preventing terrorist attacks in the West Bank, and Abbas despite domestic opposition to it, Abbas has previously referred to it as sacred.