Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Armed Gunmen in Shechem. December 13, 2021.

Palestinian Authority officials have said they cannot assist Israel in clamping down on terrorism in Judea and Samaria ahead of and during the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

Their position was reportedly conveyed to representatives of the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) by P.A. intelligence chief Majed Faraj and PLO Secretary General Hussein al-Sheikh during a meeting last week, according to Kan News.

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The Israelis were seeking to enhance security coordination between the sides amid an uptick in terrorist activity, particularly in northern Samaria. While cooperation continues, the report said, the Palestinian Authority leaders said that Israel’s ongoing counter-terror operations in Judea and Samaria made it impossible for them to assist.

“We cannot operate effectively after every night you enter Palestinian cities, arrest and kill residents. Your actions weaken us,” Faraj and al-Sheikh reportedly told the Israeli officials.

For their part, the Israelis said the current security situation in Judea and Samaria was “unacceptable,” and emphasized that Israeli forces were arresting only those who endangered the security of Israeli citizens, according to Kan.

The report comes as an Israeli officer was killed overnight Tuesday in a gun battle with Palestinian Authority terrorists near the Gilboa crossing in northern Samaria.

Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that its was the inability of the P.A. to rein in terror in areas under its control that was forcing Israel to intensify its own actions.

He noted that the Israel Defense Forces had launched “Operation Breakwater” in March due to a “sharp increase” in the number of terrorist attacks in the Judea and Samaria region. As part of this operation, some 1,500 wanted individuals have been apprehended so far, he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said the Shin Bet had thwarted hundreds of terror attacks, including shootings, explosive attacks, suicide bombings and kidnappings since the start of 2022.

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