Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS
PA Police. May 16, 2016.

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security officials are pessimistic in light of the deterioration of the security situation in the PA controlled territories.

At the meeting of the heads of the Palestinian Authority mechanisms with PA head Mahmoud Abbas, held last Thursday, some of the heads of the security bodies offered to purchase the weapons of the armed terrorist group in the city of Shechem (Nablus), one of the hotbeds of Arab terrorism. A source reports that the meeting was characterized by a heavy concern about the spillover of armed groups into the central and southern areas of the PA, and according to him, “the Palestinian mechanisms are waking up too late, after they have already lost control of Jenin.”

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During the meeting, Abbas demanded to enforce the law and give another opportunity for diplomatic contacts with Israel, but some of the officials expressed great pessimism and some even said that they would not be able to guarantee and ensure calm on the streets.

A Arab source told TPS that the heads of the Palestinian Authority security establishment are now trying to isolate the armed groups, who are entrenched in the Kasbah in Shechem and in the refugee camps, and have even offered, through PA representatives in the city, for the armed men to lay down their weapons in exchange for the payment of salaries, recruitment into the ranks of the PA security forces, the granting of amnesty, and the purchase of their weapons for a large sum of money.

The proposal to the armed groups was intended to get them to agree not to act outside the PA’s authority, but according to the source, the representatives of the groups responded with a complete refusal of the proposal. According to a Palestinian Authority security official, who confirmed the report, some of the PA security officials opposed this step.

Sources informed TPS on Monday that the increased terror attacks on Sunday in the Shechem area were carried out to “teach a lesson” to the PA who wants to dismantle them.

The Palestinian Authority Minister of the Interior, Ziad Hab al-Reeh, said at the end of the week that the PA is advancing a series of important moves vis-a-vis Shechem and Jenin.

The PA is demanding the cessation of IDF activities, or at least the reduction of the operation in Samaria.

“Every time the Palestinian Authority tries to regain control and peace, the occupation forces carry out major attacks and lead to an escalation,” he claimed, adding that “if Israel does not stop the night operations, we will not be able to gain control over these places. Six deaths in one day seriously damaged our position and ability to calm Northern Samaria.”

According to him, Abbas ordered the complete pacification of the area, but many in the security mechanisms understand that “the race of election statements in Israel and the intention of candidates to prove leadership to their voters by pushing for additional operations harm the Palestinian side.”

Referring to the situation on the ground, an officer in a PA security apparatus in Jenin told TPS that “the situation in Jenin points to a loss of control and, above all, to a complete disconnect between reality and the statements made by the senior officials of the Palestinian Authority who believe that they will be able to gain control over the area, and the same applies to the senior brass in the IDF who claim that another operation will break the militants.”

According to him, “the militants in Jenin are motivated and are far from surrendering. Your military operations are not working in the direction you want,” says the Palestinian Authority officer.

At the same time, the PA is also trying to strengthen the Fatah organization on its leadership institutions and return its representatives to the streets.

As part of the effort to bring Fatah back to the territory, a first conference was held this weekend in the Jenin district, as part of a move designed to bring about the establishment of regional councils, which will strengthen the connection between the street and Fatah.

Along with Abbas’ security instructions and the effort to return Fatah to the streets, the PA Foreign Service is now adding to its diplomatic efforts in an attempt to convince countries to intervene in the events and “provide protection to the residents of the Palestinian Authority, in view of the ongoing IDF operations.”

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.