Official: Good Security, Economic Cooperation With PA

YERUSHALAYIM -
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority is better than ever, IDF officials told Channel Two in a weekend report. If, last November, the PA was responsible for some 10 percent of arrests of potential terrorists, about half the security suspects in terror cases are picked up by the PA nowadays.

With that, the officials said that Israel had not “outsourced” security to the PA in any way. “We rely on ourselves,” a security official told Channel Two. “When and if necessary, we will not hesitate to enter towns and villages in order to ensure the safety of Israelis.”

The security establishment also takes great pride in providing work opportunities for Palestinians, said the official. Some 280,000 Palestinians are employed directly or indirectly by Israeli businesses. The employment figures, said the official, are a good example of the coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Yehudah and Shomron, where 400,000 Jews live together with 2.8 million Palestinians, traveling thousands of kilometers of roads together, and building commercial and other ties.

The official said that the cooperation served the needs of both groups. The cooperation, together with Israeli and PA actions against terrorists, ensures the security of Israelis, he added.