Palestinian factions on Wednesday strongly condemned Palestinian Authority security commander Majed Faraj for his talk about security coordination with Israel.
Faraj, in an interview Sunday with Defense News, revealed that the PA security forces have prevented some 200 terrorist attacks against Israel since October 2015. He also revealed that his forces have arrested about 100 Palestinians on suspicion of planning attacks against Israelis.
Faraj is the commander of the PA’s General Intelligence Force in the West Bank.
His remarks triggered a wave of denunciations from a number of Palestinian factions that are strongly opposed to security coordination with Israel.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Faraj’s admission that the PA security forces have prevented 200 attacks against Israel “proves these security forces’ role in serving the security of the occupation and combating the Palestinian intifada.”
Abu Zuhri said that the PA security forces in the West Bank were acting contrary to the Palestinians’ national consensus.
“Protecting the security of the occupation has become part of the ideology of the Palestinian security forces,” the Hamas spokesman charged.
“Hamas calls for a national campaign to confront this national and moral decline of the Palestinian Authority’s security establishment. These practices won’t succeed in aborting the intifada or providing security for the occupation.”
Marwan Abu Ras, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, condemned Faraj’s remarks, saying the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank have done nothing for their people. Abu Ras pointed out the PA has failed to compensate the families of Palestinians killed during the current wave of terrorism against Israel.
He also took issue with the PA for failing to contribute to the reconstruction of houses destroyed by the IDF in recent weeks.
“Instead of boasting about its security coordination with the occupation, the Palestinian Authority leadership should have boasted about he sacrifices and steadfastness of the Palestinians,” the Hamas official said.
Another Hamas official, Ismail al-Ashqar, said that Faraj’s remarks show that there is no difference between the Palestinian and Israeli security forces. “These remarks are proof of the dangerous role the Palestinian Authority is playing in the West Bank,” al-Ashqar said. “This role poses a strategic threat to the presence of the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine accused the PA of working towards “burying the intifada.”
It said that Faraj’s comments did not come as a surprise because the Palestinian Authority has always been conducting security coordination with Israel.” “The Palestinian Authority’s role has always been to serve the security interests of the occupation,” the PFLP claimed.
Talal Abu Zarifeh, a senior official with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced Faraj’s remarks as a “political scandal.”
Abu Zarifeh said that the remarks were in contrast to PLO and Fatah recommendations to halt security coordination with Israel.