As part of the preparations for the intended Israeli pullout from the Gaza strip and four northern West Bank settlements, the Palestinian Minister of Interior Nasser Yousef met with the U.S. special security envoy William Ward, Palestinian security sources reported on Tuesday.

The meeting, which took place in Jericho, is held the first time with the presence of the Palestinian strategic planning teams for the ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip’ which includes some PA security officers and representatives of the donor countries.

Issues related to basic needs of the preparations of the Palestinian security forces for the evacuation process and needed help afterwards, were discussed in the meeting.

Yousef stressed that the Palestinian Authority is the only legal body on the Palestinian side responsible to deal with these issues, with respect due to all the Palestinian factions.

The conveners agreed to increase communication and coordination, ahead of, during and after the disengagement plan to ensure a smooth transition.

They also criticized the lack of Israeli coordination on the intended Israeli step.

Recently, the Israeli government decided to delay the disengagement plan to start in mid-August after it was originally slated to start ion July 10.

Israeli official sources claim the delay is for religious reasons, however, some Jewish Rabbis confirmed that there is no contradiction with the pullout and the religious rituals the Jews are holding in this period.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas downplayed the delay of the pullout saying that it will finally take place.