PA continues security co-ordination with Israel despite call for freeze

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Officials representing PA President Mahmoud Abbas say co-ordination remains 'important' despite PLO recommendation

PA President Abbas was urged to halt security co-ordination last week (AFP)
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Monday 9 March 2015 20:43 UTC
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Some 60 members of Hamas were arrested in the West Bank in a series of overnight raids on Sunday and early on Monday, the movement said.

The arrests were carried out in co-ordination between Israeli forces and the Palestinian Authority, according to an Israeli military radio station, but came days after the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) recommended that the PA cease security co-ordination with Israel in protest at Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues.

A source inside the Hamas's headquarters, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP: "We received information that 60 members of Hamas were arrested throughout the West Bank.

A PA security force official, who also requested anonymity, confirmed that there were 40 arrests, although they did not add further details. 

According to Maan News Agency, the arrests are being seen as reprisal for the detention of senior Fatah official Mamoon Sweidan by Hamas security forces in Gaza over the past few days.

However, PA security spokesperson Adnan Dmeiri told reporters that the detentions were not carried out for political reasons and that the suspects had all been suspected of carrying out crimes. 

The arrests were carried out in co-ordination between Israeli forces and the Palestinian Authority, according to an Israeli military radio station, but came days after the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) recommended that the PA cease security co-ordination with Israel in protest at Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues.

The PLO said on Thursday that it was recommending the freeze in co-ordination between Israel and the PA, which controls the West Bank, as a result of what they called “Israel’s daily violations” of agreements with the Palestinians.

The announcement was prompted by Israel’s decision in late 2014 to freeze up to $150 mn in Palestinian tax revenues as a sanction for Palestine’s application to join several international bodies including the International Criminal Court.

However, despite the recommendation PA officials said on Monday that security co-ordination was likely to continue.

A representative of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office told Israeli news site Israel Hayom that the co-ordination is an “important national strategic interest” for the Palestinians.