Despite Rift, Israel and Palestinian Authority Maintain Coordination Against Iran
Pictured Above: Palestinian officials reportedly fear that the recent rhetoric of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani (pictured), head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, threatens Palestinian national security. Credit: Sayyed Shahab via Wikimedia Commons.
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS) Despite the ongoing political rift between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), they have maintained security coordination—much of it covert—in an effort to keep Iran from expanding its reach to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through the assistance of pro-Iranian elements in those areas.
A senior representative from PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office told Israel Hayom that many Palestinian leaders are angry with the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Officials in Ramallah say Soleimani’s recent pledge that Iran would provide Palestinian factions with funding and weapons poses a risk to Palestinian national security as well as the stability of the current Palestinian leadership. Palestinian officials say Iran’s meddling must therefore be stopped at any price, including through increased security cooperation with Israel.
A senior Palestinian security official said that Palestinian security forces recently carried out a number of arrests of pro-Iranian elements—mainly from the Islamic Jihad terror organization in the northern West Bank, but also of Hamas members in Hebron and the Ramallah area.