The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday announced that it had recently resumed security cooperation with Israel after it broke off ties during the summer amid the Temple Mount crisis.
In a briefing with reporters in the West Bank, PA police chief Hazem Atallah said that the coordination was resumed two weeks ago.
The move to restore coordination was criticized by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas is surprised by the PA in the West Bank’s resumption of security coordination and cooperation with the Zionist enemy, which is the equivalent of the greatest danger to the Palestinian people, its unity and its legitimate rights including the right to resist the occupation,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
Atallah also said that his forces are focused on seeking full security control of Gaza following a reconciliation agreement in October between the PA-ruling Fatah party and Hamas.
Yet Atallah expressed doubt about the reconciliation agreement, saying that his forces cannot guarantee law and order unless Hamas is disarmed.
“It is impossible. How can I do security when there are all these rockets and guns? Is this possible? It doesn’t work,” he said, adding he would not accept any Hamas members in his police force and that it would be unacceptable for Hamas to have its own weapons.
“We are talking about one authority, one law and one gun” in Gaza, Atallah said.
As part of the reconciliation agreement, Hamas agreed to allow the PA to assume control in Gaza by Dec. 1. But Hamas has vowed that it will not disarm, and has reiterated its objective to “wipe out Israel.”