Abbas Threatens to End Security Cooperation With Israel

Yerushalayim -
Mahmoud Abbas. (Flash 90)

In a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas threatened to rip up all agreements with Israel, and to end the security coordination between PA police and IDF soldiers. In the letter, Abbas slams the U.S. peace plan, saying that “it is an attempt by the U.S. and Israel to override the Oslo Accords. The PA will see itself as free to ignore the agreements it signed with Israel, including the security coordination on both sides.”

PA security officials told Yisrael Hayom that despite the bluster, security coordination was unlikely to end. “We have not received any orders to do anything differently, and we are still preventing mass riots and attacks on soldiers at checkpoints and the like,” the officials said. “There is no realistic scenario for Abbas to end security coordination. If the West Bank falls into chaos, that would just give Hamas a greater opportunity to move in and take advantage of the mayhem. The security coordination is as important to us as it is to you.”

The main reason for the letter, Israeli analysts said, was the frustration Abbas feels with the Arab and European response to President Trump’s “deal of the century” peace program. “The response has been extremely mild, with countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia saying that the plan could be a good basis for negotiations. European countries like Britain and France have said the same thing, where in the past they might have dismissed an American plan and offered one of their own. And the fact that the ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman were actually present at the Tuesday event introducing the plan took Abbas by complete surprise.”

The only Arab country that made a more than halfhearted protest was Jordan, which has threatened to “take action” if Israel “tries to change the status quo in the West Bank.” The kingdom did not spell out what that “action” might be, but analysts say that if Abbas is expecting Jordan to break off relations with Israel, he can forget that. “Jordan is broke and they are basically being supported by American subsidies and Israeli water,” the analysts said. “They may release angry statements in order to quell the ‘Arab street,’ but don’t expect any action, especially since the plan preserves and to a degree even strengthens its position in the Old City of Yerushalayim.”

At a meeting of PA officials Wednesday, Abbas appeared “tired and depressed,” a source who was present at the meeting told Yisrael Hayom. “He has come to realize that he is all alone in this, no one is going to step up and oppose the Trump plan.”

The Arab League is set to hold an “emergency meeting” over the weekend to discuss the plan. Abbas said Wednesday that at the meeting, “the Arab world will present a single front against this plot. Our message to America and Israel is that your plotting will not succeed.”