Palestinians Resume Security Coordination With Israel

GAZA (Reuters) -

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s administration said on Wednesday it had resumed security coordination with Israel in Yehudah and Shomron, frozen in July, and sought sole security control of the Gaza Strip, where Hamas Islamist forces dominate.

The remarks, by the Palestinian police chief, left open the question of how Abbas might bring his former rivals in Hamas to heel given their refusal to disarm as demanded by Israel and the United States.

An Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal last month formally restored Abbas’s administrative control of Gaza after a 10-year schism with Hamas, though the details of implementation have yet to be worked out fully.

Under interim peace deals with Israel, Abbas’ Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in Yehudah and Shomron.

Abbas halted security coordination with Israel on July 21, demanding that it remove metal detectors it had installed outside Har HaBayis in response to the killing of two of its police guards by terrorists holed up there.

Amid Palestinian and Jordanian unrest, and U.S. mediation efforts, Israel dismantled the walk-through gates within days and said it would install less obtrusive security measures.

Police chief Hazem Attallah told foreign reporters in a briefing that the suspension of ties had ended two weeks ago.

“Security coordination between Palestinian and Israeli services have resumed as it used to be before it stopped,” Attallah said, adding that he was referring to joint efforts to prevent terror attacks, as crime-fighting police cooperation between the sides had never stopped.