Last week Haaretz reported that Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshal would meet this week to finalize the formation of their government. Also, the chairman of the PA’s Central Election Commission visited Gaza to set up a ‘technocractic government’ to oversee the upcoming election.
Today ‘s Reuters reports the PA’s appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been stepping up arrests in Jenin (something we reported last month):
The crackdown, led by elite presidential guards and the counter-terrorism unit, is seen as a determined bid by the Western-backed PA to regain control of the impoverished area and smash local networks that challenge its power.
Is seen? By whom?
The PA, with the Fatah party at its core, has advanced its monopoly on force in the West Bank after years of purges and scraps with rival factions – …Despite lacking a formal state or a mandate from the ballot box, the PA considers the security sweep in Jenin as a template for cementing its authority throughout the West Bank.
“This is an ongoing security effort and not a campaign with a start and finish. It will encompass every district so that citizens can live in safety and security,” Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told Reuters.
Ongoing ‘security’ effort with no start or finish? That rings a bell. Many of those arrested do not know why they have been detained.
Jenin’s Freedom Theatre Director Zakaria Zubeidi was picked up again. He’s being held at the PA’s central jail Jericho prison for “unspecified crimes”:
“Jericho has become like Guantanamo,” groaned Zakaria’s brother Abed….“The idea of being sent there is being used to terrify us…..“People come in here all the time with their car windows smashed by (Israeli) settlers. The Authority doesn’t defend its people from the attacks, but directs its policy of force at us.”
The obvious question: Is Fayyad doing Israel’s bidding on the eve of elections under the guise of ‘security’?