The United States took Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to task on Wednesday for calling on his security forces to confront Israeli military personnel conducting counter-terrorism raids in Judea and Samaria.
“We call on the Palestinian Authority, including President Abbas, to clearly condemn terrorism against Israelis and terrorism in all its forms,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price. “The Palestinian Authority and Israel should be leaning into security cooperation with each other at such a time. That is in the interests of both Palestinians and Israelis. It’s very consistent with what the parties agreed to at Aqaba,” he added.
The comments came after a P.A. official, Azzam al-Ahmad, was quoted by Israeli media as saying: “It’s not a secret that President Abbas instructed the Palestinian security forces not to hesitate to confront the occupation army [IDF] and the herds of settlers if they continue with the incursions on our land.
“We stress the importance of the national resistance,” added al-Ahmad.
Price was referring to Sunday’s security meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, during which Israel and the P.A. affirmed the need to “commit to de-escalation on the ground.”
Following the “comprehensive and frank discussions,” the United States released a comprehensive communique announcing what the sides had allegedly agreed to, including an Israeli decision to significantly curb the approval of new housing plans in Judea and Samaria.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently denied the American assertion.
While the security meeting was taking place, two Israelis were killed in a terrorist attack near the village of Huwara, south of Nablus, in Samaria. A Palestinian terrorist gunned down at point-blank range brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, both from the nearby community of Har Bracha.