Early on Monday morning this week, a convoy of eight PA military vehicles and two vehicles with Israeli plates traveled into eastern Jerusalem, which is under Israeli sovereignty, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. The convoy included about 50 uniformed PA security personnel, members of Unit 101–the shock troop founded by the late Chairman Yasser Arafat, and the PA Preventive Security.
The convoy’s mission was to detain four PA Arabs suspected of murdering two PA policemen a week ago in the Shechem area. The four suspects were able to evade the local security forces and find shelter in heavily Arab eastern Jerusalem. The PA security force pursued them, weapons drawn, inside Israeli territory.
PA forces entered the Jerusalem municipality’s Arab neighborhoods of Ras Shehadeh, Ras Hamis, and the Shuafat refugee camp. The forces received no approval for their actions, nor did they alert Israeli authorities, or attempt to coordinate the chase.
This highly irregular even took place against the background of the sizzling violence in the PA city of Shechem, where confrontations between an estimated 100 gang members and police have resulted in two policemen shot dead, two wanted men beaten to death by police, and a senior militia leader gone rogue being lynched by police in his jail cell.
According to Arab media reports, many of the militias that sprang into existence during the 2000 second Intifada have become criminal gangs and have been fighting PA police over turf in several cities.