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Mahmoud Abbas ends Palestinian security deal with U.S., Israel

Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz looks at the Jordan Valley in the Israeli settlement of Vered Jericho in the West Bank on January 21. Gantz had promised to annex the valley if he was elected prime minister. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz looks at the Jordan Valley in the Israeli settlement of Vered Jericho in the West Bank on January 21. Gantz had promised to annex the valley if he was elected prime minister. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

May 20 (UPI) -- Palestinian authorities will end a security agreement with Israel and the United States as a result of plans to annex parts of the West Bank by the new unity government in Jerusalem.

Palestinian authorities voted in 2018 end the security agreement but allowed President Mahmoud Abbas the option of when to end cooperation. Abbas on several prior occasions has threatened to end the agreement.

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Abbas said Tuesday the cooperation is over effective immediately.

"The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones," Abbas said in a speech.

Abbas said security in certain zones of the West Bank is now Israel's responsibility.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz have both supported plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Their formation of a new unity government on Sunday ended political deadlock in Jerusalem that lasted for more than a year.

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned last weekend that annexing the West Bank could bring "a massive conflict" between Jordan and Israel and suspend their 1994 peace treaty.

It's not yet clear exactly how Palestinian officials will practically end the security agreement or what logistical steps they might take as a result of its suspension.

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