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Abbas' security coordination challenge

The Palestinian Central Council called for ending security coordination with Israel in response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but it is a move the Palestinian leadership can hardly afford to make.
Members of Palestinian security forces stand guard during a rally in support of Palestinian journalist Mohammad al-Qiq, who was detained by Israel in November and was on a hunger strike to protest his detention without charge, in the West Bank city Ramallah February 26, 2016. Al-Qiq, accused by Israel of being a Hamas activist and held without charge has agreed to end his three-month long hunger strike, his family and lawyers said on Friday. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman  - GF10000324491

In a fiery two-hour speech at the start of the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) meeting Jan. 14, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not once raise the issue of ending security coordination with Israel. Abbas did, however, mention, several times, the futility of continuing with the Oslo process, which produced the Palestinian Authority (PA) and allowed it to set up its well-funded and lightly armed security apparatus. Despite this omission, however, the PCC resolved the matter in the final statement.

This was not the first time the Palestinians have resolved to end the security arrangement, a step often demanded by Hamas and other opposition groups. In March 2015, at the previous PCC session, a similar call was made but was never implemented. Abbas halted security coordination in July 2017 in support of protests in Jerusalem over the Haram al-Sharif, but the cessation was temporary, and cooperation was quietly resumed. This time it is being made in response to the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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