Israel warns Abbas: We’ll take over W. Bank if PA stops coordination – i24news
Kuwaiti report follows statements by Palestinian leader, who called for reexamination of agreements
Israel has asked Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to “keep quiet until the end of the year” and “stop the delusional boycott of Israel,” the Kuwaiti Alrai newspaper reported Sunday.
According to Alrai, which cited Palestinian sources, Israel issued a “direct threat” to Abbas earlier this month via a senior Israeli army officer during a meeting with Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hassan Al-Sheikh.
A source close to Abbas said the Israeli officer transferred a message from Jerusalem to the effect that “it is necessary that the PA stop threatening to halt its security coordination [with Israel] and dismantle the Palestinian leadership.”
“If that happens, [Israeli] tanks will take over all of the West Bank in 24 hours, and we could run it better than you,” the unnamed officer was quoted by Alrai as saying.
A Palestinian source told the daily that “Israel’s interests require it to deal indirectly with Hamas regarding everyday life and the construction of a port in the Gaza Strip.”
The report, which could not be independently verified, said the officer also asked that the PA “not to take sides” in the matter of Gaza and that Al-Sheikh passed on the message both to Abbas and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat to “give Israel the opportunity to end the year without any move being made against it.”
The Kuwaiti report comes after Abbas last week called for the reexamination of political, economic and security agreements with Israel, the Palestinians news agency Ma’an reported.
At a press conference with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolicat in Belgrade, the Palestinian Authority chief said Israel must “stop violating our agreements and fully commit to them.”
“They should stop settlement activity, ‘Judaization’ activities in Jerusalem that bury its Islamic and Christian religious identity and features,” he added.
He also urged the Jewish state to release security prisoners jailed in Israeli prisons.
Abbas also voiced his objection to temporary resolutions or borders in any future peace deal with Israel.