Border Police nab terrorist in Jericho

Rare raid comes after PA ignored repeated requests to apprehend terrorist.

border police 88 (photo credit: )
border police 88
(photo credit: )
Sami Abdel Akilan, 26, a member of the Palestinian national security forces who planned to launch attacks in Israel in the near future, was arrested by security forces in Jericho on Saturday. Jericho is the only Palestinian city in which the Palestinian Authority has full security control, after the power was transferred by Israel in March of last year. Security officials complained that constant requests by Israel to the PA to arrest Akilan have been repeatedly ignored, and in several instances when briefly detained by PA security officials in the city, he was immediately released. A year since the Palestinians received full control of the city, Jericho continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists, security officials told The Jerusalem Post, adding that at least 25 fugitives are estimated to be hiding out in the city, despite PA assurances to disarm them. Akilan, a member of the Fatah Tanzim, was raised in Sha'ati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and in 2000 moved to Jericho. Three years later, he became intensively involved in terror activities on behalf of the Fatah Tanzim. An attempt by Akilan to dispatch two suicide bombers into Israel was thwarted after they were arrested by security forces. While Jericho is considered to be one of the quieter Palestinian cities, it has produced a number of terrorists with blood on their hands in the past. Last November, security forces operating in Nablus killed Amjad Hinawi, one of two terrorists who in May 1996 shot and murdered David Boim,17, outside Beit El, where he was waiting to take a bus home to Har Nof in Jerusalem. Shortly after the murder, Hinawi turned himself in to Palestinian security officials and was sentenced by a PA court in Jericho to ten years hard labor for complicity in the crime. However, shortly after the sentencing, he escaped from a Jericho prison and never returned. Under the agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority last year, the PA agreed to disarm fugitives known to be residing in the city. Israelis are barred from entering the city or casino. Security control of Route 90, which leads to the Jordan Valley communities and the country's northeast, remains under Israeli security control. Two IDF checkpoints north and south of the city also remain intact, but the PA is responsible for law and order in Oudja, a village north of Jericho and is permitted to train a police force. Israel also permitted the PA to train a police force in the city. In May 2002, Ahmed Sa'adat who was responsible for the October 2001 murder of Rehavam Ze'evi and Fuad Shubaki the paymaster of the weapons smuggling Karine A boat, were incarcerated in Jericho as part of a security deal reached to end the 40 day siege at Yasser Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah, where they had been holed up along with scores of other fugitives. It was decided that Sa'adat and Shubaki would remain behind bars with others linked to Ze'evi's murder, monitored by US and British agents.