An agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to cease security cooperation in Judea and Samaria's Area A may be imminent, a senior security official revealed to Army Radio Sunday.
The deal, which would be sealed ahead of the PA's visit to the UN to push anti-Israel draft resolutions, would see the IDF pull out of the region after decades of cooperation - and be seen as a major Palestinian victory.
Under the terms of the agreement, if PA security forces fail to suppress terrorist elements within its jurisdiction, the IDF would not be able to help them battle the threat.
Complaints have been voiced against Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) chief Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai for downplaying the significance of the agreement.
"Where the Palestinians operate more, we will operate less," Mordechai stated, during a tour of the region last week.
The PA, however, views the deal as a cessation of any and all security cooperation with Israel - a threat they have levied for years, and which some say is crucial to preventing further escalation of terrorist violence. Mordechai faces criticism, as well, for downplaying the IDF's role in quashing the most recent terror wave, while glorifying the relatively minor role of PA security forces in the issue.
The deal remains to be sealed, and it is unclear whether it will require a formal vote from Israel's security cabinet.
Other security officials defended Mordechai. "The goal is to calm the area," the official said, on condition of anonymity. "We do not have a problem with it being seen as an achievement for Abu Mazen [PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - ed.]."
"In recent weeks, the Palestinians have stepped up their efforts to fight terrorism," he continued. "They have been confiscating knives in schools and making arrests, and we should not ignore the results."
The official further implied that those speaking against Mordechai "would prefer that Israel drown in rivers of blood instead of seeing the terrorism subside."