Three Palestinians were killed July 21 during clashes with Israeli security forces over the placement of metal detectors at the entrance of the Temple Mount compound. On the same day, three Israelis were killed at the Halamish West Bank settlement by a Palestinian assailant. After these bloody events in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) informed Israel that it is freezing all ties until the metal detectors are removed. Immediately after this announcement, however, a Palestinian security official told Al-Monitor that security coordination would remain in place, since it was necessary for both parties to restore calm. But as the hours and days passed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came under increasing pressure, and his tone changed accordingly.
Palestinian sources told Al-Monitor July 23 that they have received explicit instructions from Abbas to cease all ties with Israel, including security coordination. At the same time, however, Abbas approved contacts between lower levels of the Palestinian security apparatus and their Israeli counterparts "in extreme cases." What exactly constitutes an "extreme case" remains unclear.