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Palestinian Authority police officers embroiled in terror

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Some 80 members of the P.A. security forces were involved in acts of terrorism between 2021 and 2023, according to Regavim.

Akiva Van Koningsveld


Almost 80 members of the U.S.-trained and armed Palestinian Authority security forces have been implicated in acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians and military personnel in the past three years alone, according to research published by the Jerusalem-based Regavim Movement think tank on Friday.

The report, titled “Officers by Day, Terrorists by Night,” provides a detailed account of dozens of cases in which P.A. police officers “turned their Western-supplied guns against the State of Israel,” Regavim said.

Regavim’s research primarily relies on official “martyrdom proclamations” released by the P.A.’s ruling Fatah faction and Ramallah’s security organs. The study focuses exclusively on P.A. employees with terror links and does not include countless attacks perpetrated by Fatah members.

Between Jan. 2021 and Dec. 2023, 44 P.A. officers were declared “martyrs” by Ramallah after being killed by Israeli forces while perpetrating acts of terror. Seven others sustained injuries. During the same period, Israel arrested at least 25 members of the P.A. Security Forces (PASF) on various terrorism charges.

The figures are likely an underestimate, Regavim noted, as they do not include PASF terrorists who managed to escape justice or whose connection to the P.A. has not been made public in any way.

“To continue to claim that the P.A. is a moderating force that fights terrorism is to prop up the same failed concepts and paradigms that collapsed on Oct. 7,” said Regavim director Meir Deutsch. He charged that “these attitudes and misperceptions endanger the safety and security of every citizen of Israel.”

Late last month, a P.A. police officer murdered two Israelis at a gas station outside the town of Eli in the Binyamin region of Samaria.

The P.A. has one of the largest per capita security forces in the world, trained and armed by the U.S. and other Western nations. Members of the PASF have a long history of carrying out terror attacks. Last year, Fatah boasted that most of its “martyrs” served in the PASF.

In addition, the Hamas terror group has recruited “dozens” of PASF operatives, using them as combatants and for intelligence gathering, Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster reported in mid-2023.

In the weeks after Hamas launched its Oct. 7 massacre, a group of commanders in the Palestinian security apparatus issued a letter threatening an insurrection in Judea and Samaria unless P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas supported the “total and open confrontation.”

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, which the Jewish state signed with Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat in the 1990s, the newly-created P.A. was tasked with fighting terror in Areas A and B of the disputed area.

Many elements of Israel’s security brass support the P.A.’s control over parts of Judea and Samaria as a “moderating force,” as opposed to Hamas and other Iran-backed terror groups.

In September, local media revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government approved the transfer of an unknown number of U.S.-supplied armored vehicles from Jordan to Ramallah.

At the time, Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the matter and the Defense Ministry recently denied a request under the Freedom of Information Law, the Hakol Hayehudi outlet reported earlier this week.

The Biden administration wants the P.A. to also assume control of the Gaza Strip after the war against Hamas ends, a move that Jerusalem has so far resisted.

Image: Palestinian Authority Security Forces at a checkpoint in the Samaria city of Nablus (Shechem), Nov. 3, 2007. Photo by Wagdi Ashtiyeh /Flash90.

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