JERUSALEM Ñ The Palestinian Authority has agreed to provide limited
security cooperation with Israel.
Israeli officials said the focus of the security cooperation has been in
the West Bank city of Bethlehem. They said PA security commanders have
engaged in joint operations to foil Palestinian insurgency attacks from
Bethlehem against neighboring Jerusalem and Israeli communities in the area.
The cooperation was said to include intelligence exchange as well as
Palestinian operations to capture insurgency weapons and prevent the
movement of insurgents. Officials said these activities have prevented
several insurgency attacks on
Jerusalem and a highway that links Israeli communities in the southern West
In July, Israel handed over control of Bethlehem to the PA and formally
withdrew troops from the city. Since then, only one Palestinian attack has
been cited as coming from the city.
Officials said Palestinian insurgents were foiled in plans to fire
mortars toward Jerusalem. In other cases, PA police stopped Palestinians
from blocking a road outside Bethlehem and attacking Israeli motorists.
Details of Israeli-PA cooperation have been sketchy. Israeli officials
did not want to harm the limited cooperation by providing details.
PA security agencies were said to have done little in other West Bank
cities, particularly in the northern areas of Jenin and Nablus. Israeli
forces have surrounded Jenin and Nablus and conduct nightly patrols in those