PA Losing Control of Northern West Bank to Fatah and Islamic Jihad Gunmen

(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - The Palestinian Authority is rapidly losing control of the northern West Bank, where hundreds of gunmen belonging to the ruling Fatah faction and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have increased their presence and activities in recent months. Most of the gunmen are based in and around Nablus and Jenin, and have stepped up attacks on Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers and installations. The phenomenon has also spread to large parts of Ramallah, where Fatah-affiliated gunmen seem to have established their own law-enforcement agencies. PA leaders are aware that there's little they can do to disarm the armed groups. Meanwhile, the Palestinian public continues to view the gunmen as "heroes" who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the Palestinian cause, while the PA leaders and security forces are denounced as "traitors" and "collaborators" with Israel. "There's a feeling that the Palestinian Authority is no longer in control," said a Palestinian academic from Ramallah. "Many of these armed men belong to Fatah, and that's why they are treated as if they are part of the Palestinian security apparatus."

2022-07-25 00:00:00

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