israel palestine west bank security 2016
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says an offer has been made to Palestinians to take control of security in some West Bank areas but the offer was reportedly rejectedREUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Israel's Prime Minister claims an offer to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take control of security in some areas of the West Bank was rejected. However Netanyahu's offer was greeted angrily by some politicians in the Knesset who demanded they be consulted about similar offers in future.

News of the offer was made by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, who was speaking in the Knesset. According to two Knesset members, he said the offer was made because of improved cooperation between IDF soldiers and PA officials around the cities of Ramallah and Jericho as part of a pilot scheme. The move was not a diplomatic manoeuvre, but rather a security measure "designed to improve the reality in which we are living", he added.

Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki confirmed the PA had rejected the offer. Maliki was reported as saying only a complete end to all Israeli security actions across all Palestinian areas would be acceptable.

Israel's Immigrant Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin then asked Netanyahu why the security cabinet had not been informed about the offer. "The prime minister told me the cabinet was not updated because the move did not come to fruition due to a Palestinian rejection of the offer," Elkin told Army Radio. "As usual, the Palestinians never miss out on an opportunity to miss out on an opportunity."

Under the terms of the 1995 Oslo Agreement, the Palestinians are supposed to have control over security in "Area A", which represents most major Palestinian cities and covers around a fifth of the West Bank. Since the Second Intifada in 2002, Israel stopped abiding by the regulations and operates at will across the area.

The PA has long demanded full control over its territory without interference from Israel. However Israel says that will only happen when attacks have stopped.