PA Takes Issue with Israel's Demand for Security
Officials in the Palestinian Authority have taken issue with the fact that Israel seeks to ensure its security, AFP reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Yasser Abed Rabbo said that Israel had adopted hardline positions and negotiations had so far produced "no tangible progress."
The so-called “hardline positions”, according to Abed Rabbo, are Israel’s demands that any agreement with the PA will ensure the continued security of Israeli citizens.
"The current Israeli negotiating position is the worst in more than 20 years," Abed said in a statement quoted by AFP.
"They want security first, and that the borders of the state of Palestine should be set out according to Israeli security needs that never end, and that will undermine the possibility of establishing a sovereign Palestinian state," he declared.
Israel has long stated that it seeks to retain a long-term military presence along the Jordan Valley in order to ensure its continued security. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, Hamas and other terror groups in the region took advantage of the situation to fire thousands of rockets at southern Israel, some of them from former communities in the region.
Rockets fired from Judea and Samaria, should Israel withdraw from the region, would place central Israel, including the Ben Gurion International Airport, under direct threat.
The PA, on the other hand, flatly objects to any Israeli military on land that could become the eastern front of a future Palestinian state.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned last week that Israel would be to blame if ongoing peace talks collapsed over its demand to keep military forces in the Jordan Valley.
Abbas has said he would accept a future demilitarized Palestinian state but has called on Israel to rely on the PA security forces that were set up according to the Oslo Accords.
Over the years, PA security forces have proven they cannot be trusted and have been behind numerous murderous terror attacks, thus making the presence of Israeli security forces along the Jordan Valley a necessity.
Just recently, the PA's Ambassador to Libya, Mutawakkil Taha, boasted that most terrorist attacks during the early days of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, were carried out by members of the PA's own security forces.
Abbas previously stated that he would accept an international peacekeeping presence, like in the Golan Heights and in Lebanon, as part of a future Palestinian state - so long as “Palestine” is free of Jews, civilians or soldiers.