The aid shipment was not coordinated with Palestinian authorities, said Health Minister Mai Kaila. Palestinians refuse to be a bridge [for Arab countries] seeking to have normalised ties with Israel, government sources said.

The flag of Palestine is seen on a map silhouette reading
The flag of Palestine is seen on a map silhouette reading "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine" placed on a fence of an illegal Israeli settlement in the village of Bilin in Occupied West Bank January 31, 2020. (Reuters)

The Palestinian government rejected on Thursday an aid shipment coming from the Gulf country of United Arab Emirates, according to the Palestinian health minister.

In a press conference, Mai Kaila said her country refused to receive the medical aid as the Emirati side ignored to coordinate with them.

She said "the UAE has not coordinated with us regarding the medical aid, and we reject to receive it without coordination".

"We are a sovereign country, and they should have coordinated with us first," added the minister.

Citing sources, Maan News Agency, known for being close to the Palestinian Authority, said earlier on Thursday that the decision came as the aid arrived via an Israeli airport.

Earlier this week, an Emirati flight carrying medical aid for Palestinians landed in an Israeli airport.

The aid shipment came although the Gulf country has no official ties with Tel Aviv.

“The UAE authorities did not coordinate with the State of Palestine before sending the aid,” the government sources said, adding: “Palestinians refuse to be a bridge [for Arab countries] seeking to have normalised ties with Israel.”

They asserted that any assistance meant to be sent to the Palestinian people should be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority first.

“Sending them directly to Israel constitutes a cover for normalization,” they added.

Unlike Jordan and Egypt, both of which signed peace treaties with Israel in 1978 and 1994, respectively, other Arab states officially deny having ties with Israel, which has been, for decades, illegally occupying Palestinian territories.

No more security cooperation with CIA

The Palestinians have suspended contacts with the CIA after announcing an end to security coordination with Israel and the United States in protest at Israeli proposals to annex territory in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian official said on Thursday.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Washington had been told of the move after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday his administration was no longer committed to agreements with Israel and the United States, including on security coordination.

On cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency, Erekat told reporters in a video call: "It stopped as of the end of the (Palestinian) president’s speech."

Intelligence cooperation with the CIA continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting US peace efforts led by President Donald Trump in 2017, with the sides working together on heading off violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority is based.

Abbas has threatened before to end security ties, without following through. Israeli officials say he needs Israel's support in the face of domestic challenges from the Palestinian group Hamas.

But Erekat said: "Things change and we have decided it is time now to change."

"Security cooperation with the United States is no more. Security coordination with Israel is no more," said Erekat. "We are going to maintain public order and the rule of law, alone."

The controversial US embassy in Jerusalem declined to comment.

Later in the day, a senior Palestinian security official told Reuters that Palestinian forces had begun to pull back from some areas of the Israeli occupied West Bank that they had policed in coordination with Israel during the coronavirus crisis.

“In light of the president’s instructions about ceasing security coordination, the Israeli side was notified” of the partial withdrawal.

Israeli officials had no immediate comment and it was not clear how widespread the Palestinian forces’ drawback was.

Human rights violations

Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel would annex 30-40 percent of the occupied West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem, seen as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov has called on Israel to give up "threats of annexation," saying any move towards that end will represent a violation of international law.

"The dangerous prospect of annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied West Bank is a growing threat," Mladenov told the UN Security Council.

Mladenov said annexation "would constitute a serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace".

With the aid of the US, Israel plans to give sovereignty to illegal Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

It's the latest Israeli blow both to human rights and international law.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies