Palestinians Shun CIA After Declaring End to Security Coordination With U.S. and Israel

YERUSHALAYIM/ GAZA (Reuters) -
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization. (Flash90)

The Palestinians have suspended contacts with the CIA after announcing an end to security coordination with Israel and the United States in protest at Israeli proposals to annex parts of Yehudah and Shomron, a Palestinian official said on Thursday.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Washington had been told of the move after Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday his administration was no longer committed to agreements with Israel and the United States, including on security coordination.

On cooperation with the CIA, Erekat told reporters in a video call: “It stopped as of the end of the (Palestinian) president’s speech.”

Intelligence cooperation with the CIA continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting U.S. peace efforts led by President Donald Trump in 2017, with the sides working together on heading off violence in the Palestinian regions.

Abbas has threatened before to end security ties, without following through. Israeli officials say he needs Israel‘s support in the face of domestic challenges from the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

But Erekat said: “Things change and we have decided it is time now to change.”

“Security cooperation with the United States is no more. Security coordination with Israel is no more,” said Erekat. “We are going to maintain public order and the rule of law, alone.”

The U.S. Embassy in Yerushalayim declined comment.