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The political context of the arrests in Jenin

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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):

Reuters:

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’?

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About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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12 Responses

  1. ritzl
    ritzl on June 6, 2012, 1:34 pm

    Thanks Annie. I assumed in the other thread that it was Israeli soldiers that abducted him in Area A. This context is probably worse on many levels, but mostly that Palestinians have no recourse to justice when the PA and the Israelis operate using the same methods and principles. Not surprising, just sad and frustrating.

  2. Ismail
    Ismail on June 6, 2012, 2:14 pm

    I’m confused. An earlier post suggested that Nabil Al Raee, identified as Artistic Director of the Freedom Theater, was arrested by Israelis. This post says that Zakaria Zubeidi, identified as Director of the Theater, was arrested by PA goons.

    Is there some mistake, or was this a coordinated effort by the Zios and their quislings in the PA to disappear two people simultaneously?

    • philweiss
      philweiss on June 6, 2012, 2:48 pm

      both were arrested

    • Sumud
      Sumud on June 6, 2012, 9:30 pm

      Different arrests at different times.

      Yesterday’s article Israelis arrest Palestinian theater’s artistic director at 3 a.m. has been updated:

      In addition, Palestinian security forces, vaunted for their “cooperation” and “coordination” with Israeli security, have twice arrested Freedom Theatre co-founder Zakaria Zubeidi. At this moment, Zubeidi has been held without charge in a Jericho prison for the last three weeks.

      Check out the photo of arrestee Nabil Al Raee – reminds me of a young Abbie Hoffman!

      • annie
        annie on June 7, 2012, 12:01 am

        reminds me of a young Abbie Hoffman!

        yes it does sumud.

        Different arrests at different times.

        yes but the arrests are all probably related to this big alleged ‘crime sweep’. or so they say. seems to me more a case of creating fitna. from that reuters link:

        The depth of the city’s crime problem was exposed last year by the murder of Israeli-Palestinian actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, who had set up a youth theatre in Jenin. Armed gangs of smugglers and profiteers began to feud more and more openly.

        and what do these armed gangs have to do with the theater? i’m just not buying it, these arrests are a provocation. and no one has been charged.

      • OlegR
        OlegR on June 7, 2012, 5:35 am

        I wonder what would be the reaction here if they were to be indited with the murder.Pretty sure you would dismiss it as a frame job.
        Well we shell see.
        We have nothing in our news at the moment so if they were arrested by
        our guys then this is still under some sort of court order news blackout, usually the freedom theater gets exposure in the news .(or maybe it just does not interest anybody at the moment who knows with our journalists)

      • annie
        annie on June 7, 2012, 1:29 pm

        I wonder what would be the reaction here if they were to be indited with the murder.

        i think it would be fairly obvious the indictment was related to the torture taking place at what reuters references as PALESTINIAN “GUANTANAMO”.

        it’s an occupation after all, just like those kids accused of murdering the fogels. there need be no relation to the reality.

      • OlegR
        OlegR on June 8, 2012, 8:18 am

        Ahh right, so you think those “kids” are innocent ?
        Is that it Annie?

  3. RoHa
    RoHa on June 7, 2012, 1:18 am

    I thought I was the only one old enough to remember Abbie Hoffman.
    You two must have read about him in history books.

  4. OlegR
    OlegR on June 7, 2012, 5:27 am

    /regain control of the impoverished area and smash local networks that challenge its power./
    That’s a euphemism for saying they are cracking down on Hamas’s dawa
    networks and your link informs about arrests of Islamic Jihad members.

    Not sure what that has to do with the Freedom theater.
    Zbeidi was always affiliated with Fatah i assume the other guy as well.
    This doesn’t add up, for me at least.

    • annie
      annie on June 7, 2012, 9:29 am

      This doesn’t add up, for me at least.

      wondering what you think of the quote from Zubeidi’s brother?

      That’s a euphemism for saying they are cracking down on Hamas’s dawa
      networks and your link informs about arrests of Islamic Jihad members.

      it adds up if the intent is to cause fitna before elections, which is certainly not an uncommon tactic. when you say it doesn’t add up, do you mean my analysis or all the connections thrown together in the reuters article, which btw was also published by the jerusalem post?

      • OlegR
        OlegR on June 8, 2012, 8:20 am

        Your analysis.

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