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PLC: 'reconciliation cannot be achieved amid security coordination with Israel'

Feb. 4, 2017 11:43 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 5, 2017 7:45 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- The first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) said during Friday's khutbah (Islamic sermon) in a mosque in Gaza City that Palestinian national reconciliation could not be achieved amid the continued security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Ahmad Muhammad Bahr said that the current national conflict has stemmed from the security coordination established by the Oslo Peace Accords signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) more than two decades ago.

He highlighted the recent case of Palestinian prisoner Samer Odeh, who was detained by PA police in the occupied West Bank and then handed over to Israeli authorities after he escaped from an Israeli hospital, as an example of what critics have called "a revolving door policy" of funneling Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons through politically-motivated arrests.

Bahr said that any Palestinian reconciliation should be formed in accordance with the principles of Palestinian resistance and not in the framework of security agreements with Israel, adding that such coordination has caused “conflicts among Palestinians.”

Bahr called for an immediate stop to the security coordination and for the PA to support the Palestinian resistance, reiterating that the popular resistance is the only way to “liberate Palestinian lands.”

He also called upon all Palestinian factions to unify against Israel, “the only enemy of Palestine,” and to adopt and embrace resistance, saying that the “Israeli occupation only speaks the language of force.”

The PA has repeatedly threatened to put an end to the security coordination with Israel over the years.

However, a report released last year by Israeli newspaper Haaretz claimed that Palestinian security forces carried out 40 percent of detentions of “suspected terrorists” in the occupied West Bank in previous months.

In April, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stirred controversy in an interview when he credited the ongoing security coordination between the PA and Israel for curbing a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets.

The Fatah-dominated PA and Israeli forces have worked in coordination since the Oslo Accords in 1993, which planned for a gradual power transfer of the occupied West Bank from Israeli forces to the PA over the course of five years.

More than 20 years on, however, any transfer of power has yet to take place.The Hamas movement and other Palestinian groups have repeatedly accused the PA of aligning with Israel's goals in the occupied West Bank, and recently of preventing a sustained uprising against Israel.
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