Last week, Israeli occupation army Special Forces entered Nablus and assassinated three young men in a brutal crime committed in an area under the control of the security coordination bodies, in broad daylight and in a busy street. This is the fruit of the security coordination that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank considers to be “sacred”. The PA continues to serve the interests of the occupation and the interests of its own officials, which are far removed from the interests of the people of occupied Palestine.
What happened in Nablus was not an isolated incident, it was a major event. The fact that Israeli Special Forces could enter our camps and kill people in full view of PA security officers makes it necessary to look at the wider picture to get its full meaning.
That those soldiers were able to kill Palestinians in the middle of the day in a major Palestinian city tells us a lot about the extent of cooperation between the occupation security agencies and the PA security forces in the occupied West Bank. This sends a powerful message to the resistance groups that even if they are in the areas nominally controlled by the PA, the occupation authorities are still able to reach them.
The timing of this criminal operation was important too. It followed a meeting of the Palestinian Central Council, an organ of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which was held by individuals rather than representatives to consolidate the hijacking of the PLO by what is tantamount to a dictatorship. Those taking part claim to have been trying to save the Palestinians, but they merely serve their own interests.
Decisions issued by the PCC as it stands are little more than words. On this occasion they included the decision to end security coordination and recognition of agreements with Israel. Two days later the Israeli murder squad entered Nablus, which confirmed that security coordination is embedded deep within the PA itself, enabling the Ramallah authority to get financial support necessary for it to survive. Financial and administrative corruption is one of the pillars of the security coordination system in the West Bank.
With Mahmoud Abbas now 86 years old, the battle for succession is also underway, while security chaos in the West Bank is at a high level. Control of the cities is part of the power struggle between those competing for the leadership of the PA. Such individuals want to satisfy the Israeli security agencies (as well as Israel’s regional and Western allies) that they are loyal to the PA and its agreements with the occupation in the hope that this will boost their chances of succeeding Abbas.
Honourable Palestinians do not accept this unpatriotic group who do not reflect the wishes of our people, and it is, after all, the “ordinary” Palestinians who bear the brunt of the occupation’s crimes and human rights violations. It is they who have sacrificed and struggled against the Zionist occupation. Today, they must stand up to the Israeli stooges as part of their resistance to the occupation. It is clear that those who advocate security coordination and are involved in it do not represent our people, because they capture resistance activists and hand them over to Israel. Ending security coordination is vital for Palestine, because it enslaves the people to the Israeli occupation.
To do this we need national action as a matter of urgency. Security coordination cannot be tolerated any longer when we see that the Palestinian agencies involved were responsible for at least 265 violations against West Bank citizens in January alone, according to the Committee of Families of Political Detainees. The Nablus and Jenin governorates topped the list with the most violations, including summonses for 52 released prisoners and 30 former political detainees and journalists.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel provides economic support to the PA in order to curb the influence of the resistance and strengthen the PA’s security forces. It is a fact that security coordination is not a recent issue; it is at the heart of the Taba Agreement signed between Israel and the PA in 1995, and clarifies the authority’s role in coordination with the occupation. In short, the PA is responsible for preventing any resistance action against the occupation. The PA security forces are, in effect, hired guns to defend the occupation and reduce the cost of the occupation for the apartheid state. They have become a functional tool in the hands of the occupation in order to fight the resistance groups.
According to article 40 of the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code, anyone who communicates with the enemy or gives it information in a treasonable manner or knowingly carries out an act that would endanger the operations of the revolution is punishable by death. We forget that the great leader Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi (1138-1193) spent 20 years before the liberation of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque eliminating traitors who collaborated with the Crusaders. He knew how important it was — and remains — to address the treacherous agents and tools of the occupation, even if they speak our language. He also believed strongly that sincere struggle is the only solution to an unjust occupation, which can only be achieved by uniting all such efforts in the noble cause. The resistance groups have taken this on board through the joint operations room.
Any objective analysis of the current situation should push the people of the West Bank and the representatives of the Palestinian national factions to resist security coordination and refuse to submit to it, by various means. The end of security coordination is linked inextricably to the end of the occupation.
This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 13 February 2022 and was edited for MEMO
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.