RAMALLAH, May 27 (JMCC) - Palestinian security officials admit to involvement from their ranks in recent violence in the occupied West Bank city, reports the Washington Post
Recent arrests after a shooting at the home of the governor's home, after which he died of a heart attack, include two officers of the US-trained security forces, the newspaper reported. It also said that a former Fateh gunman, Zakaria Zubeideh, was a suspect in the crime, despite Zubeideh's denials in other media that he had been detained.
Jenin has been held up as a model of Palestinian security cooperation with Israel and officials say that the recent incidents do not change that.
In interviews, several Palestinian officials played down the incident as one of simple clan warfare. The officers involved, they said, were bad apples linked to gunrunning and other criminal activities — albeit some who had risen to senior positions and who were willing to attack their own boss.
“These are individual provocations .?.?. it is not a phenomenon, and it has no political meaning,” said Interior Minister Said Abu Ali.
Abu Ali insisted that the security forces’ morale is strong, though he expressed frustration that the Israeli military requires them to seek permission to operate in many West Bank Palestinian towns and carries out raids in cities nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, such as Jenin.
The official reaction to the shooting was swift, and there is no palpable sense of unrest on Jenin’s quiet streets. At a downtown restaurant, manager Othman Inab said safety, which not long ago seemed a fantasy, is now the city’s best attribute.
His concern is that the other part of Jenin’s version of the Palestinian statehood project, a flourishing economy, has stumbled. Mousa helped open the nearby crossing into Israel, which has allowed Arab Israelis to shop and dine in Jenin but within limited hours. A joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial zone has not taken off.
Nationhood, Inab said, seems far off, and at this point he simply wishes for a permit allowing him to work in Israel.
“If the crossing was open, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.