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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘gunmen’

Fatah’s Armed Gangs are Back

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

After keeping a low profile for the past few years, Fatah’s armed gangs have resurfaced in Judea and Samaria.

The reappearance of the masked gunmen could only mean one of two things: either the Palestinian Authority is really losing control, or that it is using the gunmen as a means of intimidating donor countries, especially the US and EU, into resuming financial aid to the Palestinian government in Judea and Samaria.

Either way, the sudden reappearance of the masked gunmen, who are believed to be members of Fatah’s armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, could pave the way for a new round of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The gunmen first took to the streets of the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus, carrying assault rifles and firing into the air.

The gunmen then held a “press conference” in which they denounced the Palestinian Authority security forces for arresting some of their friends and confiscating their weapons.

Yet at the same time the gunmen heaped praise on Palestinian Authority President, and Fatah head, Mahmoud Abbas, saying they “fully supported” his policies.

A few days later, another group of Fatah gunmen made a public appearance in Jenin, where they too criticized the Palestinian Authority security forces for arresting their friends and seizing their weapons.

The statements made by the gunmen in both cases left Palestinians in a state of confusion.

How can the gunmen condemn the Palestinian security forces for their actions and, in the same breath, praise Mahmoud Abbas, the commander-in-chief of these forces?

Do the gunmen assume that the Palestinian Authority security forces act independently from the leadership in Ramallah? Or, as some gunmen have suggested, perhaps they believe that these security forces receive instructions from Israel or the US?

Or is it possible that the Palestinian Authority wants the world to see the gunmen on the streets in order to send a message that it may completely lose control unless it gets more funding?

In any event, to have Fatah gunmen once again roaming the streets of Palestinian villages and refugee camps proves that the Palestinian Authority’s claims that the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had been disbanded and disarmed are untrue.

Unless the Palestinian Authority leadership takes immediate action to stop the Fatah gunmen, scenes of anarchy, lawlessness and violence could soon return to Judea and Samaria. The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was responsible for hundreds of armed attacks against Israelis during the second intifada.

The US and EU, who have been funding and training the Palestinian security forces in Judea and Samaria, need to bang on the table – now – and demand that Abbas rein in the Fatah militiamen, most of whom receive their salaries from the Palestinian Authority government.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Gunmen ‘Defending Abbas’ Push Back PA Security Services

Friday, January 11th, 2013

A group of masked gunmen claiming affiliation to Fatah’s military wing warned on Thursday that they would fight back against the imprisonment of their members by Palestinian security forces, Ma’an reports.

In recent months, Palestinian security forces have launched a large-scale mission to confiscate illegal weapons in the Jenin and Balata refugee camps.

Parading through Nablus’ Balata refugee camp, firing into the air with semi-automatic weapons, the group insisted they were only defending Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas against a takeover of the West Bank.

President Abbas is officially the commander in chief of the PA security forces, but the gunmen said they were acting to defend the president against “the enemies of Fatah and the enemies of the Palestinian people.”

At a press conference in Balata, a masked representative appealed to Abbas to form a committee of inquiry to examine what he described as an arrest campaign targeting Fatah members across the West Bank.

They called for Palestinian National Security chief Maj. Gen. Nidal Abu Dukhan and other security heads to be held accountable.

“They have two choices, to live in dignity or die with honor,” the representative warned.

According to Ynet, the group announced the establishment of “the army of free fighters.” The new army celebrated the occasion by holding a march at the camp during which they fired in the air.

After an attack on Jenin Governor Kadura Musa’s house, in which Musa was not hurt in the incident but later that night died of a heart attack, the PA security forces launched their operation of rounding up suspected gunmen and taking away their guns.

Those raids involved fire exchanges with the gunmen, some of whom, according to Ynet, are former members of Fatah’s military wing the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The Fatah gunmen’s anxiety may stem from the common view in Arab Judea and Samaria, that Hamas rule in those areas is just around the corner.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gunmen-defending-abbas-push-back-pa-security-services/2013/01/11/

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