The father of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, the gunman killed by the IDF in the Old City of Nablus on Tuesday morning, is a senior officer with the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Service.
Like other Palestinian security services, the PSS – the Palestinians’ equivalent of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency – has long been involved in security coordination with the IDF. It has also been strongly criticized by some Palestinians for cracking down on members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even unruly Fatah gunmen in the West Bank.
The father, Ala’ Izzat al-Nablusi, holds the rank of colonel.
والد الشهيد المطارد ابراهيم النابلسي / العقيد في جهاز الامن الوقائي الفلسطيني (علاء عزت النابلسي) pic.twitter.com/5EXvkoezu6— منير الجاغوب (@MonirAljaghoub) August 9, 2022
Hours after the fugitive was killed by the IDF, PSS headquarters published a statement offering condolences to “the brother and member of the [PSS] Col. Ala’ Izzat al-Nabulsi on the martyrdom of his son, Ibrahim, and the other martyrs.”
Sources in Nablus said on Wednesday that the slain gunman, who was suspected of carrying out a number of shooting attacks against IDF soldiers and bases, as well as at Joseph’s Tomb, was not wanted by the Palestinian security forces.
Some sources claimed that like his father, Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was a member of the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Others, however, said he was affiliated with Islamic Jihad. The two groups have increased their cooperation in Jenin and Nablus over the past few months.
In an interview with Palestinian reporters, Nabulsi said his son’s last message to the Palestinians before he was killed by the IDF was that they should not drop their weapons.
“The occupier does not understand the language of dialogue or politics,” said the senior PA security official, echoing similar statements made by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. “We are facing an oppressive enemy that does not want a political solution.”
“The occupier does not understand the language of dialogue or politics, we are facing an oppressive enemy that does not want a political solution.”Ala al-Nabulsi
He also criticized the Oslo Accords that were signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, which led to the establishment of the PA and its security agencies, including the PSS, where he works.
“For the past 27 years, the peace process has not made any progress,” the father complained. “The peace process did not achieve anything for the Palestinians. The new generation has been brought up on the resistance and the need to defend Palestine.”
Nabulsi is not the only senior Palestinian security officer whose son was involved in terrorism against Israel.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the father of another terrorist, Ra’ad Hazem, was also a senior officer with the PA’s National Security Force.
Tel Aviv mass shooting
On April 7, Ra’ad Hazem, a 28-year-old terrorist from Jenin, killed three people and injured six during a mass shooting that took place on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv.
Hazem’s father, Fathi, has since praised the terrorist attack, and refused to meet with Israeli security forces for interrogation.
The father has since become one of the symbols of the Palestinian “resistance” in Jenin and the northern West Bank, and has also been urging in public appearances that Palestinians remain committed to the “armed resistance” against Israel.
Mahmoud Hajeer, 23, a Palestinian policeman from Balata refugee camp near Nablus, was shot and seriously injured last month after he opened fire at IDF soldiers. In the past two decades, only a small number of Palestinian security officers have been involved in terrorist attacks.
After the attack, Hamas urged PA security officers in the West Bank to follow suit and carry out attacks against soldiers and settlers.
There have been a number of previous instances in which family members of senior PA security officials were involved in anti-Israel attacks. But a Palestinian official in Ramallah said he did not believe that this was part of a growing trend.
“There are families who sons are affiliated with both Fatah and Hamas,” the official noted. “Take, for example, the case of [Fatah leader and former PSS commander] Jibril Rajoub, whose brother, Nayef, is a senior member of Hamas.”
Asked if the PA was worried about the involvement of the sons of senior security officers in terrorism, the official said there was no reason for concern.
“We have tens of thousands of people serving in our security forces, and the recent cases are extremely rare and unrepresentative,” he said. “Of course, you can’t hold parents responsible for what their grown-up sons do. This applies not only to Palestinian society, but to others as well.”