Elite Palestinian Authority security forces rounded up suspected Salafist terrorists in Shechem this week but left untouched Mahmoud Abbas’ Al Aqsa terrorist arm, which recently branded their rifles in a march to commemorate the death of Yasser Arafat.
The apparent contradiction highlights the heart of the constant threat that worldwide supplies of heavy-duty weapons for the PA forces will be used against Israel, exactly like the rifles that Israel gave Yasser Arafat in the hey-day of the Oslo Illusions were weapons that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis when the Oslo Accords exploded.
The Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) has a new counter-terrorism unit called Special Operations Unit 101 (SOU 101), deployed in Jenin, and its “Brigade 9” in Shechem. The NSF rounded this past Sunday 20 Salafist terrorist members in Jenin, Shechem and Kalkilya.
Palestinian Authority sources insisted that the Salafists were not directly affiliated with Al Qaeda despite a shared ideology. Three days before the roundup, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the IDF killed three Salafist terrorists south of Hevron and whom the Mujahedeen Shura Council said were “the tip of the iceberg.”
“By the will of God Almighty, the global jihadist doctrine has reached the bank of pride, the West Bank, planting its foothold after all attempts to thwart its presence,” the Council said after their members were killed.
It was later revealed that the Palestinian Authority had arrested several other Salafists in an apparent coordinated effort with the IDF.
A Palestinian Authority official told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency that all of the Salafists who were arrested were former members of Hamas.
In October, the PA elite unit operated in Jenin. Its commander Major Sadam Amr, told IHS Jane’s that around 150 soldiers are in the unit and are armed with Zastava M70 assault rifles, fitted with picatinny rails so they can be used with the red dot, laser and night vision sites acquired by the unit.
“Each rifle upgrade cost us $1,000, “Major Amr told Janes, which added, “The unit is also equipped with a tactical communications system made by a UIS company called Tiger. The radios allow members of the unit to stay in contact with each other in their operations room.
“The unit uses Ford F-150 pick-up trucks, several of which have been fitted with protective armor…as well as 7.62 mm machine guns to provide fire support.
That should be a great relief to Israelis, now certain that Mahmoud Abbas deployed his forces to tear down the terrorist infrastructure,
The problem is that in the Palestinian Authority, “terrorists” are Hamas members and Salafists, while Abbas’ Fatah party “military” squad, quaintly named the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, simply is a group of resistance fighters.
With masks over their faces and assault weapons in their peace partner hands, they held a military parade between Ramallah and Jerusalem two weeks ago to mark the ninth anniversary of Arafat’s death.
The Oslo Accords are not relevant any more. The Palestinian Authority has broken word after word and clause after clause, but some of the text bears repeating.
The number of armed forces in the Palestinian Authority is way beyond the limit stated in the Accords, which also declare, “The Palestinian Police will act systematically against all expressions of violence and terror. The Council will issue permits in order to legalize the possession and carrying of arms by civilians. Any illegal arms will be confiscated by the Palestinian Police.”
The agreement also states, “The Palestinian Police will possess the following arms and equipment: up to 4,000 rifles; up to 4,000 pistols; up to 120 machine guns of 0.3″ or 0.5″ caliber; and up to 15 light, unarmed riot vehicles.
These figures are worth the paper one which the Oslo Accords were written.
Those under the age of 20, and those who are over the age and have a very selective memory, do not know that Israel shipped to the Palestinian Authority more than 2,000 rifles in the late 1990s, when the IDF was bragging about the coordination between the Israeli military and the PA army, officially called a police force because it is not allowed to have an “army.”
When Arafat could not squeeze more concessions out of Israel, the “policemen” turned their guns on Israel. The rest is history, much of it buried in coffins in Israeli cemeteries.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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