The Palestinian Authority Is Losing Control over the Northern Part of Its Territory

July 26 2022

On Sunday, Israeli security personnel engaged in a shootout with terrorists in the West Bank city of Nablus, killing two armed Palestinians. The Israeli raid was a response to an increase in attacks emerging from the vicinity, perpetrated both by splinter factions within the ruling Fatah party and by rival groups outside it. Khaled Abu Toameh explains:

The presence of the gunmen on the streets in the Nablus and Jenin areas underscores the weakness of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose leaders are aware that there’s little they can do to disarm the armed groups and individuals.

The Palestinian public, meanwhile, continues to view the gunmen as “heroes” who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause. They are regarded as the defenders of the people, while the PA leaders and security forces are denounced as corrupt “traitors” and “collaborators” with Israel.

Many Palestinians, meanwhile, are disturbed by the presence and activities of the gunmen, who they say are replacing the PA security forces as law-enforcers. “There’s a feeling that the Palestinian Authority is no longer in control,” said a Palestinian academic from Ramallah. “There are too many armed men and thugs who are acting as if they are in charge.” The PA is both afraid and unwilling to deal with the gunmen, he said.

In recent weeks, many Palestinians have complained about scenes of anarchy and lawlessness, especially in the Jenin and Nablus areas, where a number of Palestinians were shot and injured in several attacks there. Earlier this week, unidentified gunmen shot and injured a retired [PA] security officer and his son in Nablus. Last Friday, gunmen shot and injured Nasser al-Shaer, a Nablus academic who previously served as deputy prime minister in the PA government.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Fatah, Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism