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Abbas to CIA head: Security cooperation with Israel continues

CIA director William Burns meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Jan. 29, 2023. (Photo: Wafa)

Despite being urged to do so by visiting CIA head William Burns, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not denounce Friday’s mass shooting of six Israelis and one Ukrainian national by a 21-year-old Palestinian Arab from Abu Tor in Jerusalem. 

Instead, Abbas gave assurances to Burns that the PA’s security framework with Israel remains intact. This statement follows a threat that the PA would no longer cooperate with Israel on security matters after Israel’s anti-terror arrest operation into Jenin on Thursday. 

Israel had informed the PA about the impending arrests, but the PA was reportedly unwilling to cooperate with the operation, which devolved after a gathering of Palestinians on a rooftop opened fire at the arresting officers, which triggered a shootout that subsequently left nine Palestinians dead. 

The arrest operation sought to secure a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror cell which was allegedly planning an exceedingly imminent attack, thus prompting a daylight operation.

In an attempt to lower tensions, the U.S. Biden administration strongly urged the PA to continue working together with Israel in an effort to ensure security for all, to which Abbas responded that the sharing of intelligence will continue. Such coordination demands constant communication between both Israeli and PA security forces in order to prevent citizens from mistakenly entering restricted areas. 

On Thursday, Abbas Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh contradicted Abbas’ statement about continuing security cooperation when he referred to Israel’s government as “occupiers” and stated that the security coordination had ended.

Despite the mixed messages, the CIA head was told that the arrests of terror suspects will continue and that full cooperation would be restored as soon as the situation has calmed. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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