Death of PA Minister Threatens Israeli Security

Will Palestinian police work with Israel? Palestinian security forces. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Will Palestinian police work with Israel? Palestinian security forces. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The death of a Palestinian cabinet member has led to threats that the Palestinian Authority (PA) could end security cooperation with Israel. The IDF Blog reported that Israel and Jordan will launch a joint investigation into the deadly incident, and a request has been made for the Palestinians jointly investigate. The death of PA Cabinet Minister Affairs Ziad Abu Ein is linked to a Palestinian protest. The WAFA Palestinian news agency reported that Abu Ein was a participant in the protest, although the IDF Blog said they were investigating the role Abu Ein had in the day’s events.

The IDF Blog said that as the protest progressed, Israeli security forces “halted the progress of the rioters into the civilian community of Adei-Ad.” At some point, the incident involved a lethal result, and that could prove dangerous for Israel if the Palestinians end security cooperation as a result.

The Ma’an News Agency reported that Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub told reporters that the PA would cease its security cooperation with Israel, while PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that all options are available.

WAFA toned down Abbas’ response, saying that the PA leader would take any necessary steps after the investigation into Abu Eid’s death.

While Palestinian terrorism remains a concern for Israel, security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians is considered to be beneficial to Israeli security.

In the past, it has also benefitted the main PA political party—Fatah—since their political rival, Hamas, are terrorists targeted by the security efforts. However, earlier this year Fatah and Hamas reconciled to form a unity government. Not surprisingly, Ma’an reported that Hamas called for the PA to end security cooperation with Israel—and not for the first time.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon sought to calm the situation in a statement released by his office regarding Abu Ein. “We express sorrow over his death. We have proposed a joint investigation to the Palestinian Authority and that a joint autopsy be carried out on Abu Ein’s body. Security stability is important to both sides and we will continue coordination with the PA.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 10, 2014

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