US criticizes Palestinian move to suspend security ties with Israel after deadly raid

The top US diplomat for the Middle East criticized the Palestinian decision to cut off security coordination with Israel after Israeli forces killed several Palestinians during a raid.

“We don’t think this is the right step to take at this moment,” Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf said.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Cairo, Ramallah and Jerusalem this weekend, Leaf described the Israeli killings of civilians as “regrettable.”

Israel says it was conducting a raid into Jenin to detain members of a group suspected of being behind a number of terror operations.
Later Thursday, the Palestinian Authorities announced that they would be suspending security coordination with Israel.

“Far from stepping back on security coordination, we believe it’s quite important that the parties retain and, if anything, deepen security coordination,” Leaf said.

Leaf called for calm from both sides and said Blinken’s weekend trip would be an opportunity for him to stress the Biden administration’s commitment to a two-state solution.

Tensions and violence have been increasing over the last several months, and fears are growing that the situation could once again spiral out of control following the new Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seen as one of the most right-wing cabinets in recent history.

Other nations, including Saudi Arabia, condemned the Israeli raid on Jenin.

Riyadh called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to end the “occupation, stop Israeli escalation and aggressions, and provide the necessary protection for civilians.”

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