Kamal Lahlouh, the father of one of the three Palestinian gunmen who were killed during clashes with IDF troops in Jenin last week, has held the Palestinian Authority security forces responsible for the killing of his son.
The accusation came amid growing discontent among Palestinians in the Jenin area in particular and the West Bank in general with the ongoing security coordination between the PA security forces and the IDF.
Several Palestinian activists claimed over the past few days that Israel and the PA were working together to eliminate scores of gunmen in the Jenin area.
On the other hand, a growing number of Palestinians continued to criticize the PA security forces for failing to engage IDF soldiers who enter Palestinian cities to carry out arrests and seize illegal weapons.
A public opinion poll published earlier this year by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 64% of the Palestinians want the PA security forces to confront the Israeli forces when they enter Palestinian cities.
Another 61% said they supported ending the security coordination.
Bara’ Lahlouh, 24, and two of his friends, Yusef Salah, 23, and Laith Abu Srour, 24, were killed last Friday morning during an exchange of gunfire with IDF soldiers in Jenin.
Lahlouh’s father claimed that his son belonged to Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, Al-Quds Brigades.
Other sources, however, said that the slain gunman was a senior commander of Hamas’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam.
After the incident, many Palestinians renewed their call to the PA to end the security coordination with Israel, dubbing it an act of treason.
In recent years, the PA has repeatedly ignored requests to end the security coordination with Israel.
Earlier this year, the Palestinian Central Council, a key decision-making PLO institution, again voted in favor of halting the security coordination. The resolution, however, has since been ignored by the PA leadership in Ramallah. Similar resolutions taken by the council over the past few years were also ignored.
But in 2020 the PA briefly halted the coordination in protest of Israel’s since-shelved plan to extend its sovereignty to Jewish communities in the West Bank.
In an interview with local reporters, Lahlouh’s father, Kamal, said that he holds the PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) responsible for the killing of his son.
والد الشهيد تورط واضح لجهاز أمن وقائي سلطة فتح بإغتيال الشاب براء لحلوح في جنين pic.twitter.com/z9aD7nkaGj— Raed Ali (@RaedAli73) June 17, 2022
Noting that his son, Bara’, had been previously arrested and interrogated by the PSS, the father claimed that a transcript of the interrogation was later transferred to the Israeli security forces.
According to the father, when he was recently summoned for questioning by an Israeli Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) security officer, he discovered that the same file prepared by the PSS was in the hands of Israel.
“The Preventive Security Service destroyed my son,” he charged. “My son chose the path of martyrdom, and I told him that I respect his decision. The Aqsa Mosque needs to be defended, and we are all prepared to do so.”
“My son chose the path of martyrdom, and I told him that I respect his decision. The Aqsa Mosque needs to be defended, and we are all prepared to do so.”Kamal
The father and residents of Jenin also claimed that the name of Bara’ Lahlouh appeared on a list of wanted men by the PA security forces. The alleged list accuses Lahlouh of possession of weapons and points out that he participated in “military parades” in the Jenin area. It also claims that he was a member of Hamas.
“Most people here know that the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli army are cooperating against the Jenin gunmen,” said Ahmed Abu al-Rub, a resident of the city. “Many of the gunmen who were assassinated by Israel had also been arrested or interrogated by the Palestinian security services.”
In April, Nasser al-Sa’di, the father of Ahmed al-Sa’di, who was also killed during clashes with the IDF in Jenin, said that his son, too, was wanted by the PA security forces. The son also belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“All the martyrs in Jenin were wanted by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority,” the father said. “They were wanted by the Palestinian Authority more than the occupation.”