The head of the armed Palestinian Tanzim organization, Jamal Abu El Lail, 48, was arrested by security forces in a Ramallah suburb in the early hours Monday.
“Before his arrest, he orchestrated shooting attacks, as well as transferring terrorist finances for funding military activity,” the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.
Fatah officials strongly denounced the arrest, which took place in Em El-Sharayet by the Shin Bet and IDF Binyamin Brigade.
The Tanzim commander, who the Shin Bet said holds Israeli residency, is closely associated with ousted Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan, who is a staunch critic of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Dahlan, who is based in the United Arab Emirates, issued a statement holding Abbas personally responsible for the arrest, saying he was apprehended days after Abbas’s office launched a scathing attack on him and other top Fatah officials.
Dahlan supporters in Ramallah claimed Abu El Lail was arrested by the IDF at the request of Abbas, and pointed out that it was the result of Abbas’s ongoing campaign to get rid of his critics within Fatah.
Abu El Lail is a resident of the village of Akav and commands Tanzim in Kalandia.
Security sources had in the past assessed that any involvement by Tanzim gunmen in the recent wave of violence in Israel would indicate an escalation of the situation.
In recent months, IDF units carrying out security missions in Kalandia have repeatedly come under fire, including in December when two terrorists who tried to ram their vehicles into security forces were killed during an IDF raid into the Kalandia refugee camp, and Palestinian gunmen fired on IDF soldiers.
In November, a Givati infantry brigade unit entered Kalandia and encountered gunfire, pipe bombs and firebombs.
Separately, at least 28 Palestinians were wounded, including one seriously, during an IDF operation in the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah on Monday morning, Palestinian medics and residents reported.
Sources in the camp said IDF soldiers had raided a house at 8:00 a.m. to arrest two wanted brothers, Ayman and Mohamed Abu Arab, who were not in there at the time.
An IDF spokeswoman said Palestinian gunmen fired on soldiers and also hurled explosive devices and rocks at them. One soldier was lightly injured by rocks. In response, soldiers opened fire at a number of the attackers.
Videos posted on YouTube showed Palestinians who had been shot or injured in the clashes being placed into Red Crescent ambulances, and dozens of teens and young Palestinian men can be seen throwing stones at IDF soldiers on the streets of Al Amari.
The IDF said it was looking into the Palestinian reports of injuries.
Meanwhile, a short video from Hebron recorded by multiple people in the immediate aftermath of an attempted stabbing at checkpoint 160 near the Cave of the Patriarchs in which Border Police officers can be seen overturning the wheelchair of a young disabled man on Sunday, has gone viral.
Hebron resident Yasmin Rashad Tamimi, 21, was shot and seriously wounded by security forces after trying to stab a soldier near the checkpoint.
She was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition.
But the videos of her lying on the pavement by the checkpoint in a spreading pool of blood were widely publicized on social media.
Palestinians in the immediate area tried to reach her, but were pushed back at times violently by Border Police officers, including the man in the wheel chair who later told Channel 10 he just wanted to help the young woman.
In a number of the videos a Border Police officer can be seen pushing the man in the wheelchair, who then falls backwards in the chair and onto the road.
Another officer with his rifle drawn pushes onlookers back and kicks one before another officer fires flash grenades that scatter the crowd.
The Justice Ministry has launched an investigation into the matter.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.