On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority carried out an extensive arrest operation of Hamas terrorists all over Judea and Samaria, some in Area C, which is under full Israeli military and civilian control, Kan 11 reported Saturday night.
According to the 1995 Oslo 2 agreement, Area C constitutes close to 61% of the Judea and Samaria territory, to be “gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction.” But as long as the transfer of territory has not taken place––and it hasn’t––all PA activity, from construction to chasing after terrorists, must be coordinated with Israel.
Nevertheless, PA security forces on Thursday entered Area C without coordination with Israel and without giving any advance notice, contrary to the agreements signed between Israel and the PA, under Israel’s nose, using civilian vehicles and wearing civilian clothes, kidnapped the Hamas members and returned with them to Area A, which is under full PA control.
Earlier last week, the PA security forces launched an operation to prevent Hamas rallies in Judea and Samaria, ahead of the terrorist group’s anniversary last Wednesday. Activists were detained for questioning and warned that holding rallies or waving Hamas flags would lead to their immediate arrest. Although planned support demonstrations were canceled, rallies in support of Hamas were held on PA Arab campuses, as well as in some villages.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in 1987, soon after the start of the first Intifada. Its co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin said in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to “liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.” The group has stated that it would accept a truce if Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders, paid reparations, allowed free elections in the territories, and gave Arab refugees the right of return.
Several national religious ministers who will take office this week have announced their intent to curb the presence and activities of the Palestinian Authority in Area C.