Palestinian Authority Ends Intelligence Cooperation with U.S.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced that the process of annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian territory will begin this summer.
  • Palestinian groups, along with the European Union and a number of Arab countries, have condemned the policy.
  • Abbas had repeatedly warned in the past that he would stop sharing information with Israel and the United States, but until now he had refused to do so.

The Palestinian Authority says it has suspended security cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after protesting the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. On Thursday, Saeb Alikat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and a senior Palestinian Authority official, confirmed the news.

Mahmoud Abbas is the President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority. He has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since 11 November 2004, and Palestinian president since 15 January 2005 (Palestinian National Authority since 15 January 2005, and State of Palestine since 8 May 2005).

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Wednesday that he would suspend past agreements with Israel and the United States. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently announced that the process of annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian territory will begin this summer, in July.

Palestinian groups, along with the European Union and a number of Arab countries, have condemned the policy. Some observers believe that cooperation between the Security Council and Israel has helped to significantly reduce attacks on Israel by Palestinian Islamist groups.

The Abbas administration has strongly rejected Donald Trump’s plan to make peace with Israel, but cooperation with the CIA on the Palestinian side continues. Abbas had repeatedly warned in the past that he would stop sharing information with Israel and the United States, but until now he had refused to do so.

According to Israeli officials, Abbas says the CIA needs Israel for him to stay in power and control its main rival, the Islamist group Hamas. “The situation has changed,” Saeb Erekat said on Thursday.

“Things change and we have decided it is time now to change.” He added, “security cooperation with the United States is no more. Security coordination with Israel is no more.” Erekat said, “we are going to maintain public order and the rule of law, alone.”

Reuters, citing Palestinian sources, reported that the autonomous organization’s police forces withdrew from some areas on Thursday in consultation with Israel. U.S. and Israeli officials have yet to comment on the decision.

Annexation of the Jordan Valley is the proposed application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. The idea has been advocated by some Israeli politicians since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began in 1967, most notably with the Allon Plan and the 2019 Netanyahu plan.

Since Donald Trump took office, relations between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority have deteriorated. Trump’s administration has stopped funding the organization and closed its Washington office. Trump also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In November 2019, Donald Trump’s administration reviewed the official U.S. position over the past few decades, and said it did not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank region to be illegal. However, the United Nations and the European Union have ruled that the construction of Jewish settlements is illegal, and the area is under military occupation.

In April 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Israel would independently determine state sovereignty over certain areas of the West Bank. The announcement comes as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz agreed to begin the process of annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian territory this summer. The agreement was part of the formation of a national unity government.

During the 1967 Six Day War, Israel defeated Jordanian and Egyptian troops, and occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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