Palestinian Authority Strains Ties in Jenin as it Reasserts Control
Jerusalem, 9 August, 2023 (TPS) -- The Palestinian Authority is straining ties with Jenin as it continues its efforts assert control over the city. Meanwhile, Israeli officials say the true test will be whether they have the will and the ability to dismantle terror groups in the city and surrounding northern Samaria.
The PA’s efforts come one month after a two-day Israeli counter-terror incursion into the Jenin refugee camp.
A Palestinian source inside Jenin told the Tazpit Press Service that nearly 500 Palestinian security personnel have been deployed in the city but none so far have entered the refugee camp. The camp is home to 18,000 Palestinians densely packed in an area about half a square kilometer in size.
TPS has learned that Ramallah’s instructions to the security forces primarily revolve around preventing any activities by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and quelling general support for terrorism.
A source in the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to TPS that the IDF is allowing the PA to regain control within the city and the Jenin refugee camp. The source emphasized that the true test of the PA’s intentions lie in Ramallah’s efforts to dismantle the armed terrorist groups.
Other measures the PA is taking include an amnesty for members of terror groups who turn in their weapons. This amnesty includes economic benefits and assistance in finding jobs. However, it isn’t clear how many Palestinians have taken advantage of the PA’s offer.
“This method also worked in Nablus and led to the self-surrender of some members of the Lions’ Den organization,” a Palestinian official in that city told TPS.
Meanwhile, the PA governor of Jenin, Akram Rajoub, told TPS, “The Palestinian Authority will not allow any manifestations of anarchy in its territories and will not allow any of the various parties to harm the government institutions.”
More than 10 ten members of Islamic Jihad’s Jaba Battalion have been arrested. A Palestinian source in Jenin told TPS that these were the people who set fire to a police station to protest the Palestinian Authority’s lack of response to Israel’s operation in the refugee camp.
The situation in Jenin remains strained. In recent days, reports have multiplied of Palestinian security forces arresting the relatives of terrorists as way of pressuring them to surrender their weapons. Detainees have included seemingly untouchable Palestinians who served time in Israeli prisons, relatives of “martyrs,” and senior figures in Hamas and even the PA itself.
Clashes have also broken out between PA security forces and Palestinians celebrating acts of violence against Israel.
A number of students, writers and critics of Mahmoud Abbas have also been arrested in PA roundups.