Israel decides to stop security coordination with PA

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Israeli authorities has decided to stop security coordination with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in suburbs of East Jerusalem, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

“Israel decided to stop security coordination in a formal and complete manner in East Jerusalem areas which are under the administrative control of the [Palestinian] authority,” according to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority.

The decision, it said, came in response to the arrest of Issam Aqel, who is accused of transferring and selling Palestinian property to (Jewish) settlers.

Two months ago, the PA had arrested Issam Aqel, a Palestinian-American citizen, and a number of people accused of selling a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to the Jewish settlers.

By stopping the security coordination, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority said, the Israeli government seeks to pressure the PA for the release of Aqel.

“Tel Aviv may take further steps against the PA if the latter continues to arrest him,” it said.

Lately, the Israeli authorities had arrested a number of Fatah leaders in Jerusalem, including PA’s Jerusalem Mayor Adnan Ghaith.

Gheith was arrested from his home in Silwan neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday, the third such arrest in about one month.

Palestine’s WAFA news agency reported Thursday that the PA is under enormous pressure and threats to release Aqel.

The recent development comes a day after U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman called on the PA to release Aqel.