Palestine free to end security cooperation with Israel, Abbas reportedly tells Netanyahu

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly sent a note to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning that Palestine now feels free to stop security cooperation with the regime as part of the Oslo accords, which are “disavowed” by a contentious US-devised Middle East plan.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV reported on Wednesday that a Palestinian Authority delegation, led by Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, had met with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and handed him a handwritten letter in Arabic from Abbas to Netanyahu.

In his note, the report said, Abbas stressed that the plan US President Donald Trump unveiled on Tuesday as a proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict disregards the 1993 Oslo accords that divided the West Bank into areas under Israeli, Palestinian and joint controls.

“The plan is an American and Israeli disavowal of the Oslo accords, and so the Palestinian Authority now sees itself as free to disregard the agreements with Israel, including security cooperation,” the report quoted the letter as saying.

The Palestinian president wanted to inform Israel of his position before he traveled to Cairo to attend an urgent meeting of the Arab League on Trump’s so-called “deal of the century,” according to the report.

Sheikh told Kahlon that Abbas had not only refused to take a call from Trump ahead of the release of his Mideast deal, he had also refused to accept a letter the US president had sent him.

Kahlon, for his part, told Sheikh that he would hand Netanyahu the letter when the Israeli premier returns from a trip to Russia on Thursday.

The Israeli finance minister also asked the Palestinians to temper their response until after Israel’s general elections in March, claiming that everything could change after the vote.

Trump released his proposed deal during an event at the White House alongside Netanyahu in Washington on Tuesday.

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