Fathi Hazem, a former colonel in the Palestinian Authority security services who was wanted by Israel for inspiring terror groups, is now actively helping the PA disarm those terror groups with Israel’s blessings, the Tazpit Press Service has learned.
He has been lauded on the PA Arab street as a hero after two of his sons were killed as “martyrs.” One son, Raad, opened fire on a crowded restaurant on Tel Aviv’s downtown Dizengoff Street in April, killing three Israelis and injuring another three. After an overnight manhunt, Raad was killed in a shootout with Israeli police in Jaffa.
The other son, Abed Al-Rahman, was killed in a shootout with Israeli soldiers in Jenin during an arrest raid in September.
Since November, however, Hazem has been working to convince terror groups in Jenin to disarm and integrate into the Palestinian Authority security services.
Hazem also played a key role in mediating the release of Tinan Fero, an 18-year-old Israeli Druze student who was abducted from a Jenin hospital by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Fero was hospitalized in the Ibn Sina Hospital after being critically injured in a car crash. The gunmen apparently believed he was an undercover soldier. Fero was murdered when the gunmen disconnected him from life support.
A senior member of the PA confirmed to TPS that Fathi Hazem was a major negotiator for armed groups and pressure on Fatah’s armed Fatah and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ groups to act in front of Islamic Jihad to bring back the body.”
The source stressed, “Without him, we would not be able to bring Tiran Fero’s body back to his family.”
Immediately after Fero’s body was returned, Israeli security forces stopped chasing Hazem.
Hazem is currently in Ramallah, ostensibly for medical reasons. But TPS has been told by PA Arab sources that “this is a fabricated hospitalization,” and that Hazem is trying to convince terror groups to disarm.
“As far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned, Fathi Hazem is an important anchor in Jenin,” a Palestinian Authority official told TPS.
The Fatah leadership from Ramallah asked Hazem to impose all his weight as a senior officer and as the father of two “martyrs” to calm tensions with the terror groups in Jenin.
Hazem became a PA Arab icon when he refused to surrender himself to Israeli authorities after his son’s terror attack in Tel Aviv.
On his Facebook page, Hazem wrote, “They are searching for the rest of my family and I wish to protect it and now my enemies and my people ask me to surrender and I will not do so until I receive my son’s body and hug and kiss it,” Hazem wrote.