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Palestinian Authority Loses Ability to Control Affairs outside of Area ‘A’

Palestinian Authority Loses Ability to Control Affairs outside of Area ‘A’

Wednesday, 3 June, 2020 - 08:30
Palestinian security forces operate a Bethlehem checkpoint on March 10, 2020, when the city fell under lockdown due to coronavirus. (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority has lost its ability to follow up on Palestinian affairs in large parts outside the area classified as “A”, after the end of security coordination with Israel.

Israel officially banned the PA from operating in Areas B and C that make up more than two-thirds of the West Bank, in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to suspend agreements in the face of the Israeli annexation plan.

Agreements between the PA and Israel divide the West Bank into three areas: Area “A” is subject to Palestinian civil and security control; Area “B” is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security; and Area “C” is subject to Israel civil and security jurisdiction.

The Authority was operating in areas B and C with Israeli coordination, allowing Palestinian forces to complete specific tasks that are mostly related to arrests and cordoning off disputes. But as the security coordination was stopped, PA forces and officials were prevented from reaching these areas.

The official Israeli broadcasting agency, KAN, confirmed that Israel had informed the Palestinian Authority that without security and civil coordination, its officials and security personnel would not be allowed to move outside Area “A”. This would also apply if the Authority was forced to deploy its forces in a Palestinian city or village, in order to contain a clan conflict or any other problem.

The decision to prevent Palestinian officials and security forces from moving around might also include President Abbas.

KAN reported that Israel was still confused about how to act, if Abbas decided to leave Ramallah at the head of a convoy and without coordination with Israel.

It added that Israel did not want to escalate the situation so far, and has decided that it would not impose sanctions on the PA because of its decision to suspend security coordination, as long as the security services do not prevent the entry of the Israeli army into Palestinian cities and villages, and no security incidents erupt requiring security coordination.

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