US wants strong 'security cooperation' between Israel and Palestinian Authority: official
The US is working to boost security ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), a senior US official said on Wednesday, following an uptick in violence in the occupied West Bank caused by Israeli raids.
US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf said the Biden administration is working "to ensure to the greatest degree possible that security cooperation (between Israel and the PA) is robust and continuing", according to The Times of Israel.
NEA A/S Barbara Leaf & DAS Hady Amr met with President Abbas to discuss the U.S.-Palestinian relationship, U.S. assistance to Palestinians, deepening ties, + how Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security & prosperity. pic.twitter.com/07BDIhjuEN— U.S. State Dept - Near Eastern Affairs (@StateDept_NEA) June 11, 2022
The news comes amid an ongoing spike in violence in the West Bank, where Israel has launched almost daily raids and killed dozens of Palestinians over the past few months.
Leaf added that improving economic conditions for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza "can help and sustain improvement in security conditions".
She said that she had pushed Israelis to allow Palestinians to use the King Hussein (Allenby) crossing between the West Bank and Jordan 24/7 and "granting" 4G cellular access to Palestinians - a basic right in most of the world.
Israel's Channel 13 reported that Leaf had also expressed concerns over the number of Palestinians killed and wounded by Israeli forces, making meetings with Israeli officials somewhat tense.
Leaf's comments follow reports of a high-level meeting between Israeli and PA officials to calm tensions in the West Bank. Last week, a report in Haaretz claimed that Israel was considering increasing its financial support for the Palestinian Authority in a bid to counter "terrorism" in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces have killed more than 140 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967, when it captured the Palestinian territory from Jordan.