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PLO seeks security freeze with Israel

Two decades of Palestinian security cooperation with Israel are in doubt after the PLO's central council called for terminating the partnership. President Abbas's administration will decide on implementing the move.

Palestinians officials said the central council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) ended a two-day meeting on Thursday by calling for cessation of "all forms of security coordination with Israel."

The coordination, set up under the 1993 Oslo autonomy accords, which founded the Palestinian Authority (PA), involves the sharing of intelligence and has been used by Israel to keep tabs in the West Bank on members of the

Islamist movement Hamas

, which runs Gaza.

Neither the PLO nor the PA on Thursday gave a date for implementing the central council's resolution, nor indicated whether it would be implemented.

The move appeared to be part of

deepening retaliatory exchanges

between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months.

In December, a Palestinian bid calling for an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank within two years was voted down in the UN Security Council.

In January, the Palestinians

joined the International Criminal Court (ICC)

despite strong objections by Israel and the United States. The Palestinians plan to press cases of alleged war crimes against Israel.

Israel responded by freezing tax revenues intended for the Palestinian Authority, rendering it unable to pay tens of thousands of PA employees.

ICC membership also exposes the Palestinians to prosecution, possibly for rocket attacks on Israel by militant groups operating out of Gaza.

Israel said Thursday it would ease restrictions on Gaza vegetable exports for the first time since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007.

ipj/gsw (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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