Israel | Middle East

Abbas says the the Palestinian Authority will ‘sever all ties’ with Israel

(JTA) — Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, reiterated statements about terminating his government’s dealings with Israel.

Abbas’ announcement Thursday followed an emergency meeting after Israel razed Palestinian buildings built without permit on the edge of Jerusalem, near the security barrier that Israel built in the West Bank. The Israeli Supreme Court has approved the demolition order, accepting the government’s position that they constitute a security risk. Palestinians have protested the move, calling it a war crime.

“From Friday onward, we will begin concrete steps against Israel and severe all ties with Israel,” Abbas said during an emergency meeting he convened following the demolition, Palestinian media reported.

Abbas has announced in the past that agreements between his government and Israel, including the Oslo Accords, were null and void but cooperation on the ground continued, Haaretz noted.

Abbas also said a committee would be formed to work out how to implement the decision, Israel Hayom reported.

In 2007, Hamas in Gaza staged a violent coup against Abbas’ government, taking over the Strip.

Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has for years kept Hamas operatives in the West Bank in check, often with Israeli assistance.

The Palestinian Authority depends on Israel for much of its water supply, electricity and aerial traffic within its borders.