Secret Israel, PA talks on removing IDF from Palestinian cities

Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been holding secret talks about transferring the security control for cities in Judea and Samaria to the PA. Haaretz reports that these discussions have been going on for the past month.

Senior officials say that Israel has offered to cease its actions in Area A almost completely, with the exception of "ticking time bomb scenarios."

The transfer would be carried out in stages, beginning with Jericho and Ramallah. Should this succeed, the IDF would gradually evacuate more and more cities.

Area A includes the largest Palestinian cities as well as their surrounding areas, and makes up about 20 percent of Judea and Samaria. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel handed over the responsibility for civil and security administration in the region to the PA, but it was forced to reenter and take back control during 2002's Operation Defensive Shield.

The talks are currently stalled over conditions demanded by both sides, though representatives are still meeting. Recently, the Palestinian side insisted that Israel return its activity in Areas A and B to its status according to Oslo, and threatened to cease cooperating with Israeli security forces if their demands are not met.


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