JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority said it will cease all security coordination with Israel in response to the death of a senior Palestinian official following a confrontation with Israeli soldiers.
Jibril Rajoub, a Palestinian political official, said Wednesday afternoon that the P.A. will end “all forms of security coordination with Israel for deliberately killing Minister Ziad Abu Ein,” the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. The halt in cooperation is open-ended.
The Palestinian Authority will also now immediately apply for membership in international organizations, which Israel opposes, Rajoub told the Times of Israel.
Both the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups called on the P.A. to halt security coordination following the death of Abu Ein, a member of the Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council, earlier Wednesday during a protest in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers beat Abu Ein and he suffered severe tear gas inhalation, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a statement called the alleged attack on Abu Ein a “barbaric action that cannot be ignored or accepted.” He also said he would take “the proper actions after the investigation reveals how he was killed.”
The Israeli army is investigating the circumstances surrounding Abu Ein’s death and has proposed to the Palestinians a joint investigation into the incident.
Abu Ein, 55, died in the village of Turmusiya, near Ramallah. Dozens of local residents and activists were protesting the Jewish settlement outpost Adei Ad by planting olive trees on land that they believe is in danger of being confiscated by Israel.
He previously served as undersecretary to the minister of prisoner affairs. Abu Ein was head of the committee against Israel’s security fence and settlements.
Abu Ein was extradited to Israel from the United States in 1981 to face charges that he was involved in a 1979 bombing that killed two Israeli teens, the Times of Israel reported. After being sentenced in 1982 to life in prison, Abu Ein was released during a 1985 prisoner swap, according to the news website.