Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for the Hamas movement, said on Tuesday evening that the United States’ military support to the security services of the Palestinian Authority, aims to bolster these agencies as they confront the escalating resistance in the PA.
Qassem elaborated: “The United States has always been hostile to our people and their rights, and cannot provide any support to the security services except to achieve only the interests of the occupation.”
On Monday evening, al-Quds reported, citing informed sources in Ramallah, that the Palestinian Authority received via Jordan a group of armored vehicles and weapons to support its security services, which include the “Preventive Security,” “National Security,” and the police.
The sources told al-Quds that these armored vehicles, as well as weapons, would be used in what they said was “enforcing law and order” in areas under PA security control.
They indicated that the armored vehicles were obtained by the Authority from the Americans through a Jordanian government mediator, with the approval of the Israeli government, to boost the capabilities of the PA security services in confronting the armed terror cells in Jenin and Shechem.
The sources suggested the deal was cobbled by the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Hussein Al-Sheikh, who many believe is preparing to succeed Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Sheikh has held several meetings with the Americans and complained that the PA is unable to confront those cells which are densely spread in Jenin, Shechem, and Tulkarem, the hottest terrorist enclaves where those cells are surrounded by a civilian population, making it difficult for Israel to strike.
The sources indicated that the American side understood the PA’s demands and provided it with the necessary equipment, including armored vehicles and modern automatic weapons equipped with lasers to be used in raids and clashes with armed cells, especially in Jenin, where the PLO is extremely unpopular.
On Sunday, Hussein Al-Sheikh held a meeting with the Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, Ayman Al-Safadi. Sources confirmed to al-Quds that the meeting yielded a framework for new arrangements in the region of which Jordan is a key partner (this is likely a reference to the Indian plan that was announced at the G-20 meeting last week, to run a continuous railroad from India to Europe through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel).
Armed groups in Jenin, Shechem, and Tulkarem have recently accused the PA security services of arresting their members on orders of the Israeli military.