A wave of arrests has rounded up 170 Hamas members in Judea and Samaria over the past several days.
However, the arrests were carried out by members of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority security force, according to a report by Ynet. The operation complements a recent similar effort by Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency.)
The arrests were allegedly carried out in response to the ongoing terror attacks carried out against Israelis on the roads of Judea and Samaria. Two Israelis have died in the past two weeks in shootings in the Binyamin district of Samaria, both were young men.
According to a PA source who spoke with Ynet, there is evidence pointing to Hamas as having been behind most of the recent attacks, including the murders.
Hamas has been trying to overthrow the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government in Judea and Samaria for years. The Israeli sting had foiled a very sophisticated operation to set up a shadow PA government by the Gaza-based terror group, complete with a full range of alternate ministries and department heads assigned.
Internecine fighting between the two factions – alleged partners in the Palestinian Authority “unity government” – is not new.
Hamas de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh cannot safely enter Judea and Samaria. Nor can PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas safely enter Gaza. Nevertheless, the two separately governed areas allegedly comprise what the United Nations refers to as the “state of Palestine” and has empowered as a non-member observer state in its General Assembly.