Mahmoud Abbas threatened to end the deployment of Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank.
The P.A. president, who has instituted a law-and-order drive in the West Bank since shunning Hamas last year and reviving peace talks with Israel, voiced umbrage Tuesday at Israeli counterterrorist raids in areas that are formally under his control.
“We are going to tell the Israelis the day after tomorrow that if the incursions and the aggression and the insults to the Palestinian police continue, we will withdraw these forces,” Abbas told members of his Fatah faction, according to aides.
He was referring to a scheduled meeting Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Olmert’s office declined to comment on Abbas’ threat, only reiterating that the West Bank operations by Israel are carried out to prevent terrorist attacks that could stymie the U.S.-sponsored negotiations on the creation of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.
Privately, Israeli officials have frequently complained that Abbas’ forces are not tough enough on Hamas and other armed factions in the West Bank.