PA arrests dozens of Fatah members, officers
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Clampdown comes after unidentified gunmen opened fire at home of Jenin governor Musa, who died of heart attack.
Palestinian Authority security forces arrested dozens of Palestinians in Jenin
and surrounding villages in the past 48 hours, sources in the city said on
Many of those arrested are Fatah members and officers working for
PA security services.
They said the clampdown, the biggest launched by
the PA in the West Bank, came after unidentified men shot at the home of Jenin
Kadoura Musa last Wednesday.
Musa was not hurt in the attack.
However, he died shortly afterwards of a heart attack, prompting PA President
Mahmoud Abbas to order a massive security operation against “outlaws” and
“criminals” in the area.
The attack on Musa’s home came one month after
Palestinian security forces shot and killed a local man who had been wanted for
It was not clear Sunday whether the attack on Musa’s
home was related to the killing of the fugitive.
Jenin residents have
long complained about lawlessness in the city and surrounding
Many residents blame Fatah gangs for the chaos.
also hold senior Palestinian security commanders responsible for maintaining
close ties with the gangs.
In April 2011, unidentified men shot and
killed Israeli Arab actor and producer Julian Mar-Khamis in the Jenin refugee
The PA security forces have failed to capture the assailants,
sparking rumors about the possible involvement of Fatah gangsters and security
Radi Asideh, commander of the PA security forces in the Jenin
area, said that his men were conducting a “huge manhunt after outlaws and
He said that scores of suspects have been arrested since the
start of the security operation over the weekend.
“The criminals will be
brought to justice,” Asideh said without revealing the number of people
Palestinian security forces were searching for the men who shot
at the governor’s house and other people involved in various crimes, including
extortion and murder, he added.
Eyewitnesses said at least 2,000 PA
policemen and officers were taking part in the operation.
They said the
forces were conducting house-to-house searches and combing fields and
“They are even searching in the caves for wanted men,” said
Ahmed Abu al-Rub, a merchant from Jenin. “This is the biggest operation
Among those arrested is Zakariya Zubeidi, the commander of Fatah’s
armed militia, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, in the Jenin refugee
Zubeidi, who was once wanted by Israel for his role in terrorist
attacks, was pardoned a few years ago and later became a member of the PA
The PA also arrested Muhammad al-Zalafi, the former
security commander of Jenin.
Two officers working for the PA’s General
Intelligence Service, Raed Dabaya and Ahmed Turkeman, were also rounded
All the suspects have been transferred to the PA’s central prison in
The arrests triggered angry reactions from many
Mothers of some of the detainees staged a demonstration in
Jenin to protest against the clampdown, calling for their sons to be released.