The PA lost its security control in the northern West Bank

The PA Chairman Abu Mazen's rule has weakened, he has completely lost control of the Jenin and Nablus regions and a security vacuum has been created in the area which is being filled by armed terrorists. Abu Mazen's political and public status is at a low ebb, which limits his ability to send the PA's security forces to enforce law and order in the northern West Bank.

Chief of Staff General Aviv Kochavi is right, this week he put his finger on one of the correct points that led to the rise of the phenomenon of terrorism in northern West Bank, and that is the loss of the PA's governance in the Jenin and Nablus regions.
The Chief of Staff attributed this to the weakness of the Palestinian security forces, which leads to a lack of governance in certain areas of Judea and Samaria, thereby creating fertile ground for the growth of terrorism, but he did not mention the political and public weakening of the PA chairman and his lack of motivation as a leader to fight terrorism as committed to the Oslo Accords.
The political status of PA chairman Abu Mazen is very weak, the residents of the territories no longer want him as their leader, Palestinian public opinion polls show that more than 70 percent of the residents of the territories want his immediate retirement from office.
Abu Mazen is seen on the Palestinian street as a security contractor for Israel and United States who is also a corrupt dictator who built a huge economic empire for his two sons and who suppresses

his political opponents by force and torture, like the case of the brutal murder of the human rights activist Nizar Banat who was murdered by 14 Palestinian security personnel in his home in Hebron because of his criticism of Abu Mazen.
The PA established an interrogation facility in Jericho prison which is nicknamed the "slaughter House"
where all of Abu Mazen's political opponents are transferred and interrogated under torture.
Towards the end of his political career, the PA chairman focuses on maintaining his seat, he receives full support from Israel, the USA, the European Union and the moderate Arab countries, he knows that his political strength also stems from his weakness, there is great concern in the countries of the region regarding the stability in the West Bank after his departure, he therefore focuses on maintaining his rule and trying to reduce as much as possible the resistance in the territories to the Palestinian Authority and to the continuation of his rule.
He has recently been heavily criticized on the Palestinian street for appointing Hussein al-Sheikh as his future successor to the position of Secretary General of executive committee of the PLO. the
On the Palestinian street, Hussein al-Sheikh is accused of acts of corruption and sexual harassment.

The loss of governance in the field

A few months ago, Palestinian gunmen attacked twice in a row with firearms the Palestinian Authority's building in the city of Jenin in protest of statements made to the media by the governor of Jenin, Akram Rajoub, who described those wanted gunmen in Jenin as "criminals and security anarchists".
Also there were demonstrations by youngsters in the Jenin refugee camp against the words of the governor of the city, claiming that these words were said to prepare the ground for the entry of IDF forces into the city.
Governor Akram Rajoub continued to challenge the wanted gunmen in the city in interviews with the Palestinian media, he claimed that since he took office about 3 years ago he had not seen any shooting by the wanted gunmen towards the IDF forces or the settlements in the area..
The leader of the Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Nachala, attacked the PA operation in the city of Jenin against the militants from his organization and blamed the PA for trying to demonize the "resistance" in Jenin.
The PA decided on an extensive arrest operation and the confiscation of weapons in the city of Jenin and in the refugee camp next to it in order to regain control of the city it had lost in recent months.
When the security forces of the PA entered the Jenin refugee camp, a week before, they were beaten with stones and had to use tear gas to disperse the rioters.
According to senior Fatah officials, this operation to return the PA's governance in the city of Jenin was agreed upon in a meeting in Ramallah between Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and PA Chairman Abu Mazen, the US and Israel were very concerned about the loss of governance of the Palestinian Authority in Jenin, Israel gave Abu Mazen a security backing to try and return control to him before the IDF intervened and took matters into its own hands, the close cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was intended to prevent Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations from entering the security vacuum.
The peak for Abu Mazen in his attempt to enforce the Palestinian Authority's rulings in the Jenin area was during the funeral of a senior Hamas figure in the city
Dozens of Palestinian militants, dressed in the uniforms of the military wing of Hamas, appeared at the funeral of a senior Hamas official, Wasfi Kabaha, the former minister for prisoners' affairs, and at the funeral, which was attended by thousands of residents, huge flags of the Hamas movement were raised, all under the noses of the Palestinian Authority's security forces that are supposed to control the city.
PA Chairman Abu Mazen was outraged by the incident, he ordered the heads of the PA's security apparatus in the Jenin area to arrest the Hamas militants and when they failed to do so, he removed them from their positions in an unprecedented step.
Since then, the security situation in Jenin has only worsened. The area felt the weakness of Abu Mazen and the lack of motivation and ability of the heads of the Palestinian security forces to deal with the armed men in the area and the terrorist organizations took advantage of this to increase their activities.

Social and family ties between the wanted terroriste and the security forces

Palestinian officials in the northern West Bank point out to the social and family ties between the wanted armed terrorists and the some of the security forces of the Palestinian Authority.
Fathi Hazem, the father of the terrorist Raed Hazem who carried out the attack in Dizengoff street in Tel Aviv this year was a senior member of the national security forces of the PA since the attack he has become a wanted man and an instigator in speeches full of incitement against Israel.
The highly wanted terrorist Jamil Al-Amouri, who was killed in Jenin in June 2021 by an Israeli undercover force, was friends with two PA security officers who came to assist him in shooting in an encounter with the undercover force, both of whom were killed by the IDF.
The terrorist Ibrahim Al Nabulsi who was killed in Nablus about a month ago is the son of an officer in the security forces of the PA.
Many in the security forces of the PA in Jenin and Nablus sympathize with the activities of the wanted terrorists.
The families of the terrorists receive monthly salaries from the PA.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen is doing everything to avoid unnecessary friction with the residents of the West Bank, in the absence of a political horizon he has no incentive to show excessive determination to fight terrorism, as long as the terrorism in Jenin and Nablus does not threaten the Muqataa in Ramallah.
He knows that Israel cannot give up on him even if it is very angry, the heads of his security forces follow his policy.

Yoni Ben Menachem
Senior Middle East Analyst

הערה: הכותב הוא מזרחן ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר

אודות יוני בן מנחם

יוני בן מנחם הוא מזרחן, עיתונאי ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר. הוא בעל עשרות שנות ניסיון בעיתונות הכתובה והמצולמת. דרכו של בן מנחם בעולם המדיה החלה כמפיק של הטלוויזיה היפנית במזרח התיכון. לאחר מכן, הוא מילא תפקידי מפתח רבים בתקשורת הישראלית: מנכ"ל רשות השידור, מנהל רדיו קול ישראל, כתב לענייניי שטחים, כתב ופרשן מדיני, פרשן לענייני המזרח התיכון ועורך ראשי ומגיש התוכנית 'מגזין המזה"ת'. 

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