JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled scheduled security coordination meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
The meetings were cancelled on Sunday, two days after Abbas announced that Palestinian leaders have frozen all contact with Israel over newly installed security measures at the Temple Mount.
It is the first time that security cooperation has been halted since Abbas was elected president of the PA nearly a decade ago, according to Israeli reports.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Ynet that Israel can manage without Palestinian security cooperation, but that the Palestinians will suffer without it.
“We’ve managed for many years without security cooperation, we’ll manage now as well,” Liberman said. “It’s not like the security coordination is an Israeli need. It’s a Palestinian need first and foremost. If they want it, they’ll continue, if not they won’t.”
Liberman also railed against Abbas for not condemning the Palestinian terror attack on Friday night that killed three members of the same family as they sat at their Shabbat table.
“What is outrageous is Abbas’ refusal to condemn the despicable murder,” Lieberman told Ynet. “You have to understand he’s not a partner, he’s not looking for peace. He’s looking to tire us out, fragment us from the inside, to hurt the State of Israel and its status in the international community.”
Israel’s Security Cabinet was scheduled to meet Sunday to discuss the current crisis surrounding the Temple Mount.
Metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the Temple Mount after three Arab-Israelis shot and killed two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14. Over the past week, at least four Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes with Israeli police in eastern Jerusalem, as well as three Israeli civilians knifed to death by a Palestinian assailant as they sat around the Shabbat table in a home in the West Bank settlement of Halamish.