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Tulkarem governor 'threatened' after trying to stop Israeli raid

July 31, 2014 4:59 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 12:42 P.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military official threatened the governor of a northern West Bank city on Thursday after he refused to withdraw Palestinian Authority security forces, sources close to the governor told Ma'an.

Under the policy of Israel-PA "security coordination," Palestinian security forces are not allowed to remain on the streets when the Israeli army raids areas under PA control.

When Tulkarem Governor Abdullah Kamil refused to withdraw PA forces early Thursday, an Israeli military official threatened to fire at Palestinian police with "all kinds of weapons" if they chose not to leave, the sources said.

The Israeli military official reportedly added: "Fatah is much worse than Hamas and is more extreme."

Although the mayor did not initially call on PA forces to withdraw, the forces left after Israeli troops entered the city, the sources said.

The incident highlights growing controversy around the policy of security coordination even among top PA officials, as President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly come under fire in recent months for complying with Israeli military dictates despite increasing levels of violence directed against Palestinians.

One of the most notable incidents occurred on June 22, when Israeli soldiers raided central Ramallah as part of a massive assault on the West Bank that killed nearly a dozen and lead to more than 1,000 arrests.

Israeli forces killed one Palestinian in the Ramallah raid, and after they withdrew Palestinian protesters attacked the PA police station and pelted security forces with rocks for their unwillingness to act in the face of the Israeli assault.

Although top PA leaders have threatened to end security coordination in response to the repeated attacks, no serious steps have been taken.

Security coordination is only applicable in Area A, the 20 percent of the West Bank where Palestinians have civil and security control. In the other 80 percent of the West Bank, Israeli forces maintain constant security control.
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