US says it opposes PA decision to cut security ties with Israel
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief
The Biden administration opposes the Palestinian Authority’s decision to sever security ties with Israel following this morning’s deadly IDF raid in Jenin.
“We don’t think this is the right step to take at this moment,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf tells reporters in a phone briefing. “Far from stepping back on security coordination, we believe it’s quite important that the parties retain, and if anything, deepen security coordination.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office announced the severing of security coordination — which the Israeli defense establishment has long credited for combating terror and maintaining stability in the West Bank — hours after the raid in Jenin in which nine people were killed, including at least one civilian. The Israeli military said the operation was necessary to quash out a credible terror threat.
Leaf says she and several of her colleagues have been “working the phones” since early this morning, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian officials in an effort to restore calm.
The senior Biden official expresses concern over the civilians killed in the IDF raid but says Israeli officials told her the forces were operating amid a “ticking time bomb of a terrorist threat.”