Hamas on Friday called on Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to follow through on his declaration Thursday night that the PA would end all cooperation with Israel in the wake of the demolition of illegally built Arab homes near Yerushalayim. “The time has come to put words into actions,” Hamas said in a statement. “We look forward to the ending of all cooperation with Israel, which will allow the Palestinian people to declare their freedom from the occupation.”
Abbas said Thursday that he would set up a committee to examine ways to end all cooperation agreements with Israel in the wake of the demolitions. “Israel committed an ethnic cleansing, with American support. Our hands are stretched out in peace, but we will not surrender to the policies of the occupation.”
At issue was the demolition Monday of 13 structures in the Arab village of Wadi Hummus, located outside Yerushalayim adjacent to the village of Sur Baher. The village is located in Area B, under Palestinian Authority civilian control and Israeli security control, and IDF bulldozers accompanied by large numbers of soldiers, Border Guards and police were on the scene to prevent rioting.
The demolitions took place after the High Court approved requests by the Defense Ministry to do so, claiming that the structures were a security threat. The structures are built against the security fence, and could allow for terrorists to dig through the fence and enter Israeli neighborhoods. The court ruled in June that the buildings could be demolished.
At a meeting with European Union officials, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Ishita said that the area was actually part of Area A, where Israel has no jurisdiction at all. As Israel was not respecting agreements on the authority of governments in the various areas outlined by the Oslo Accords, the PA would stop respecting them as well.
No date has been set for the establishment of the committee that will discuss methods of cutting off cooperation with Israel.