Palestinian police chief confirms security cooperation with Israel in full swing
AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP/Archives)
The head of the Palestinian police in the occupied West Bank confirmed on Wednesday that security coordination had resumed with Israel, after it was partly suspended in July.
"Everyone is coordinating now. That means things returned to what they were before July 14," Hazem Atallah said. "Things are normal now."
He later told journalists in Ramallah that it was around two weeks ago that security coordination resumed fully, confirming an i24NEWS report at the time.
A source said then that the decision to resume security coordination came amid intensive meetings between Palestinian and American officials.
President Mahmoud Abbas announced in July security coordination was being suspended in protest at Israel installing new security measures at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, although it was unclear to what extent it was actually cut.
The security measures, including metal detectors, were installed after two Israeli policemen were killed in the area by Arab Israeli gunmen who emerged from the holy site to commit the attack.
Palestinians saw the security measures as Israel seeking to assert further control over the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in east Jerusalem.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
Atallah said security coordination was never completely cut for the police, saying 95 percent of the activities had continued.
"The only thing we stopped is we didn't meet them in the field," he added.
"We don't work with politics. We work for people," he said, defending the coordination which polls say is unpopular with most Palestinians.
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