IDF arrests 3 PA policemen for throwing stones

Senior Israeli officer calls participation of Palestinian security forces in anti-Israeli demonstrations "disturbing."

January 20, 2012 02:27
1 minute read.
Palestinian throws stone at W. Bank demonstration

Palestinian throws a stone at West Bank demonstration 311 (R. (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)

The IDF has identified an increase in the participation of members of the Palestinian Authority security forces in anti-Israel demonstrations throughout the West Bank, senior military sources said this week.

According to one officer, the army recently arrested three Palestinian policemen at demonstrations against Israel after they threw rocks at Israeli security forces.

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One of the policemen, an officer with the rank of captain, was arrested recently at a regular Friday demonstration near the Palestinian village of Nabi Salih. All three policemen were in civilian dress when they were arrested.

While the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have said that the PA is financing the weekly demonstrations held near Bil’in, Ni’lin and Nabi Salih, this is the first time that the IDF has identified the active participation of security officers.

“We believe that the PA is financing the protests, but it is new that security officers are involved,” a senior officer said.

Defense officials said this week that while the participation of the Palestinian security officers in anti-Israel demonstrations was “disturbing,” in general, the PA security forces were doing an impressive job cracking down on criminal and terrorist elements in the West Bank.

Eight battalions trained by the United States in Jordan have deployed in the West Bank, and another two are scheduled to join by the end of the year. Each battalion numbers about 500 security officers who are trained by the office of the United States Security Coordinator to Israel and the West Bank Lt.-Gen. Michael Moeller.

“We have dramatically cut down on the number of [IDF] operations inside West Bank cities due to the general decrease in terrorism, which is [the result of] a combination of our continued activity and the operations carried out by the PA forces,” an IDF officer said.

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