Once again, the PA is ganging up on its own citizens in order to receive a certificate of good conduct from the likes of Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennet.According to the latest news from the West Bank, PA security agencies, including the Preventive Security and General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) have been raiding homes and businesses of supporters of the Islamic liberation group, Hamas.Reliable sources in the West Bank reported that as many as a hundred activists have been rounded up in the still-ongoing sweep, including college students, university professors, and former detainees just released from Israeli jails.No specific charges have been leveled against the detainees, widely believed to be innocent of any wrongdoings.The PA didn’t spell out the exact motives behind the latest campaign, which targeted families said was carried out with “vengeance and vindictiveness.”
A PA spokesman in Ramallah said Monday the arrests were a reprisal for the arrest by Hamas’s security apparatus in Gaza of a local Fatah leader, reportedly accused of “indulgence in improper behavior.”
However, the large scope of the arrest campaign in the West Bank seems to suggest that the PA is hell-bent on persecuting its own people on Israel’s behalf.
A few days ago, the PLO Central Council, decided to terminate all security coordination with Israel. However, a huge question mark is drawn over the willingness of the PA leadership, e.g. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, to halt security collaboration with Israel.
Abbas has been quoted repeatedly as saying that security collaboration with Israel is “a sacred commitment”, and an “ultimate red line.” Hence, most Palestinians and observers are skeptical about Abbas’s willingness to carry out the decision.
From the Israeli view point, the PA would lose its very raison d’être should it halt full security collaboration with the Jewish state.
Hence, stopping the one-sided security collaboration between the PA and Israel could possibly spell the end of the very existence of the PA.
However, the elimination of the PA goes against the wishes of the US, Israel’s guardian ally, EU, as well as regional states such as Jordan and Sissi’s Egypt.
Israel, too, views the continued survival of the PA regime as a paramount Israel interest. Israel views the PA very much as a sub-contractor for managing the occupation, on Israel’s behalf. The disappearance of the PA would create a huge security and financial burden for Israel as the Jewish state would be forced to cater for the livelihood and welfare of more than four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel would also be forced to redeploy tens of thousands of its troops throughout Palestinian towns.
Needless to say, the PA has been doing the job rather faithfully on behalf of Israel ever since the conclusion of the hapless Oslo Agreement in 1993. And this was done with minimal Israeli obligations toward the Palestinians.
More to the point, under the umbrella of this ignominious arrangement, which was supposed to expire by 2000, Israel continued to confiscate Palestinian land, build and expand Jewish settlements and use every conceivable method to persecute, repress and torment Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The continuing arrest of dozens of innocent Palestinian activists comes at a time when the PA is being thoroughly humiliated and blackmailed by the occupying power, Israel. The Zionist entity has been withholding hundreds of millions of dollars of Palestinian tax and customs revenue, levied by Israel on behalf the PA pursuant to the Paris protocol of 1994.
The freezing of these funds has caused a virtual financial collapse of the PA, which has not been able to pay the salaries of its estimated 140,000 civil servants and security personnel in full.
The PA has appealed to western countries, especially the US, to pressure Israel to release the funds. However, it is unlikely that Israel will unfreeze the funds anytime soon, especially before the Israeli elections, slated to take place on 17 March.
The Israeli government is worried that unfreezing the Palestinian funds now would be a sign of weakness to the Israeli Jewish public, which has a clear propensity to support right-wing and extreme-right wing parties, such as Netanyahu’s Likud.
In addition to withholding Palestinian funds, Israel has been waging a murderous campaign against ordinary Palestinians.
On 7 March, the Israeli occupation army murdered a Palestinian fisherman. Tawfik Abu Rayala, 34, was killed when an Israeli navy patrol strafed Palestinian fishermen in northern Gaza with machinegun bullets, killing the young fisherman and injuring a number of other fishermen.
Several other Palestinians have also been killed in various parts of the West Bank as the Israeli occupation army adopted a shoot-to-kill policy in dealing with Palestinian protesters.
A few months ago, Israeli troops near Ramallah, murdered Ziyad Abu Ein, prompting widespread indignation.
Israel, whose navy routinely opens fire on impoverished Gaza fishermen, had murdered more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians during its last summer blitz against Gaza. The victims include some 300 children.
In fact, the Israeli killing machine never stopped murdering and maiming Palestinians as the Zionist entity continued to narrow Palestinian horizons politically and economically.
Awarding Israel for its crimes
In light of all this, many ordinary Palestinians are openly accusing the PA of being at Israel’s beck and call and even awarding Israel for murdering and persecuting Palestinians.
Ahmed Suleiman, a Palestinian professor at Hebron University, described the PA behavior of arresting pro-Hamas activists in the West Bank as “a treasonous act par excellence.”
“We all know that Israel considers Hamas its archenemy. So by cracking down on Hamas in the West Bank, the PA is effectively telling Israel that ‘ your enemy is also our enemy.'”