RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Palestinian national police commander has cast doubt on whether a reconciliation agreement with the Hamas militant group can be carried out, warning that his forces cannot guarantee law and order unless Hamas disarms in the Gaza Strip.
With his comments, Hazem Atallah acknowledged Wednesday that the most significant sticking point in the reconciliation talks — who will control Hamas' substantial arsenal — is nowhere near resolution.
"It is impossible. How can I do security when there are all these rockets and guns? Is this possible? It doesn't work," Atallah told a gathering of foreign journalists in the West Bank.
Atallah also confirmed that security coordination with Israel in the West Bank has resumed. The Palestinians suspended most contacts last summer to protest Israeli policies at a Jerusalem holy site.