Top Israeli, PA Security Officials Meet

Israeli, PA security chiefs in high-level meeting to discuss ongoing security deterioration in Judea and Samaria.

Tova Dvorin ,

Arab rioter in Jerusalem (file)
Arab rioter in Jerusalem (file)
STR/Flash 90

Senior IDF officers met Tuesday with senior Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials, to discuss measures aimed at easing tensions in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

According to the Hebrew-language Walla! news site, PA officials expressed a desire to bring calm to Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem - but also warned that they would "find it difficult to cope" if "Israeli escalations" on the Temple Mount - a reference to Jewish visits to the site - and building in Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria continued. 

The Israeli side was reportedly represented at the meeting, by Central Command Chief, Nitzan Alon, and the head of the Civil Administration, Brigadier General David Menachem. The Palestinian side was represented by the PA security chiefs, including the "West Bank" security chief Ziad al-Barih, head of general intelligence Majed Faraj, PA police commissioner Hazem Atallah, and other senior PA officials.

Israel's top security officials took care to point out that they were not planning to impose more severe security measures than are already in place in Judea and Samaria, and that forces would work to maintain calm in the area. In contrast, Israeli police forces have significantly bolstered their presence in Jerusalem, particularly in Arab-majority neighborhoods that have served as epicenters for the current unrest.

Israeli security officials also reiterated government reassurances that there would be no change to the "status quo" on the Temple Mount, where Jews are currently banned from praying. 

Subsequently, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT leader), Major General Yoav Mordechai, and the Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein al-Sheikh, spoke by phone.

"The meeting was positive and it was clear that Israel's security institutions interested in restoring quiet," a senior Palestinian source stated, who was involved in the details of the meeting and asked to remain anonymous. 

"However, I'm not sure that the military leadership's position reflects the position of the Israeli political echelon," he added.

It is unclear whether the meeting took place before or after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu provided updates on the security situation, whereby he threatened to crack down on the waves of terror an enact a number of strict measures to keep incitement at bay. 

The steps will include "increasing forces in the field throughout Israel," "demolishing terrorists' homes, harsh punishments for rock-throwers, Molotov cocktail and fireworks attacks, fines against the parents of rock-throwers, [and] outlawing the parties behind the terrorism and riots in Jerusalem," he vowed.