Palestinians: Israeli crackdown hindering efforts to enforce order

PA officials criticize Israeli actions in the West Bank; Terror group threatens to ‘ban’ settlers from visiting Joseph’s Tomb.

 Palestinian demonstrators protesting the arrest of two Palestinian militants clash with Palestinian and Israeli security forces, in Nablus on September 20, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian demonstrators protesting the arrest of two Palestinian militants clash with Palestinian and Israeli security forces, in Nablus on September 20, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The Palestinian Authority said on Monday that the ongoing IDF crackdown in the West Bank was obstructing its efforts to restore order and prevent further deterioration.

Senior PA officials held Israel fully responsible for the flare-up of violence and said that its counter-terrorism measures won’t bring security and stability to Israelis and Palestinians.

The officials called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to halt its military operations.

Last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the Palestinian security forces to increase their efforts to enforce law and order in order to avoid a large-scale IDF operation, especially in Nablus and Jenin, where dozens of gunmen have become active in the past few months.

Palestinian sources said that the PA leadership was worried that the attacks carried out by the gunmen against settlers and soldiers would prompt the IDF to launch an offensive similar to the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield.

 PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, last month (credit: SPUTNIK/EVGENY BIYATOV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, last month (credit: SPUTNIK/EVGENY BIYATOV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

Abbas has also expressed concern over the involvement of PA security officers in some of the attacks, the sources said. The PA president relayed his concern to the commanders of the Palestinian security forces during an emergency meeting in Ramallah last Thursday, they added.

“The Palestinian security forces can’t serious measures to restore order while the Israeli army is conducting daily raids into Palestinian cities and villages,” said a Palestinian official. “Israel is playing with fire.”

Lions' Den terror group threatens Israel

The Nablus-based Lions’ Den armed group, which has claimed responsibility for several shooting attacks against soldiers and settlers in the past few weeks, on Sunday night threatened to ban settlers from visiting Joseph’s Tomb in the city. The group also threatened to impose a “curfew” on the settlements.

On Monday morning, two Palestinians from the Jalazon Refugee Camp north of Ramallah, Bassel Basbous, 19, and Khaled al-Dabbas, 21, were shot dead by soldiers. The IDF said that the two men attempted to carry out a ramming attack against the soldiers.

A general strike was declared in Ramallah and the nearby city of Al-Bireh to mourn the death of the two men.

PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh said in response to the incident that Israel was “committing crimes” against the Palestinians.

Abu Rudaineh called on the Israeli government to “stop this dangerous and irresponsible policy which could destroy everything.”

He added: “The dangerous Israeli escalation against our people in Jerusalem, Jenin and Nablus has crossed all red lines. This reckless policy will not bring security and stability for anyone.”

“The dangerous Israeli escalation against our people in Jerusalem, Jenin and Nablus has crossed all red lines. This reckless policy will not bring security and stability for anyone.”

Nabil Abu Rudaineh

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh urged the international community to hold Israel directly responsible for the “dangerous and bloody escalation.”

Shtayyeh, who was speaking during the weekly meeting of the PA Cabinet in Ramallah, called on the international community and the European Union to link their relations and cooperation with Israel to the extent of its commitment to international law and resolutions and human rights. Failure to do so will encourage Israel “to persist in its oppressive and racist policies,” he cautioned.

The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs also held the Israeli government fully responsible for the escalation. The ministry criticized the “silence” of the international community toward Israeli “violations” and “crimes.”

Mahmoud al-Habbash, Religious Affairs Adviser to the PA president, accused Israel of practicing “terrorism” against the Palestinians. Commenting on the killing of the two Palestinians near Ramallah, al-Habbash said: “This [Israeli] policy is a true translation of the criminal mentality of the occupying state. What is happening in the Palestinian territories is a dangerous escalation through which the occupying state seeks to use Palestinian blood in the upcoming Israeli elections.”