The Palestinian Authority’s extensive security and detention drive against Palestinian activists in the occupied West Bank has been described by Israeli officials as the PA’s “basic role”. It represents, they claim, “the extension of the PA’s sovereignty over all issues” in the occupied territory.
According to Israeli media reports, the PA began its campaign several weeks ago. Included among those detained by the PA security services are a number of its own senior officers who have refused to cooperate with the Israeli occupation authorities. This move has been well received in Israel.
As part of the campaign, the PA has confiscated more than 100 guns and arrested more than 150 “terrorist” suspects from the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus. Apparently, members of the former Al-Aqsa Brigades and senior PA military officers who have received special counter-terrorism training in the US and Jordan are among those arrested.
Israeli officials described this campaign as similar to that carried out by the PA in 2009 through which it tried to destroy the Hamas infrastructure in Qalqilya; six Palestinians were killed on that occasion.
More PA forces are to be deployed in the northern West Bank to follow-up on the latest developments. Israel’s Shabak intelligence service cooperates with PA officials, supplying them with detailed information on the whereabouts of suspects and fugitives.