‘Merely two weeks after Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, declared that the PA will suspend all ‘security coordination’ with Israel, Palestinian security forces in the West Bank killed unarmed teenager, Salah Zakareneh.
Zakareneh is not the first and, sadly, will not be the last Palestinian to be killed by the PA security forces, which in recent years have dramatically increased their oppressive tactics against any form of political dissent in Palestine.
The 17-year-old boy died soon after PA security was dispatched to the village of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank to allegedly confront a “military-style demonstration” that was being planned.
The official version of the story claimed that as soon as the PA force arrived in Qabatiya, armed men from the village opened fire while others hurled rocks, prompting PA officers to respond with live bullets and teargas canisters, resulting in the death of Zakareneh and the wounding of others. No PA officers were wounded by gunfire.
There is no denying that anti-PA sentiment has grown exponentially throughout the occupied Palestinian territories in recent months. Abbas’s Authority is rife with corruption and continues to rule over Palestinians, in whatever limited capacity permitted by Israel, with no democratic mandate whatsoever.
Moreover, the PA consists largely of loyalists to Abbas’s Fatah party, which is itself divided between various centers of power.
In 2016, the PA set up a joint body of Palestinian intelligence agencies in Jericho with the sole purpose of cracking down on supporters of Abbas’s arch-enemy, Mohammed Dahlan, who is currently in exile.
Since its creation, the new intelligence body, which reports directly to the President, has expanded its mandate and is actively cracking down on any individual, organization or political entity that dares question the policies of Abbas and his party.
Soon after Abbas claimed in a speech before the Arab League in Cairo, on February 1, that the PA will severe all contacts with Israel “including security relations”, a senior PA official informed Israeli media that the cooperation between the PA and Israel is still ongoing.’