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href="http://www.ramzybaroud.net/abuse-oppression-and-murder-the-pa-does-israels-dirty-work-in-the-west-bank/">http://www.ramzybaroud.net/abuse-oppression-and-murder-the-pa-does-israels-dirty-work-in-the-west-bank/</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">Abuse, Oppression and Murder: The PA
          Does Israel’s Dirty Work in the West Bank - Politics For The
          People</h1>
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          <div class="reader-estimated-time"><strong>By Ramzy Baroud -
              March 7, 2020<br>
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              <p><span>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 <a
href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinian-teenager-killed-in-clashes-between-pa-and-locals-near-jenin/"><span>killed</span></a> unarmed
                  teenager, Salah Zakareneh.</span></p>
              <p><span>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.</span></p>
              <p><span>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.</span></p>
              <p><span>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.</span></p>
              <p><span>There is no denying that anti-PA sentiment <a
href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-poll-finds-palestinians-deeply-distrust-their-leaders/"><span>has
                      grown</span></a> 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.</span></p>
              <p><span>Moreover, the PA consists largely of loyalists to
                  Abbas’s Fatah party, which is itself divided between
                  various centers of power.</span></p>
              <p><span>In 2016, the PA <a
href="https://www.islamweb.net/en/ramadan/article/219064/palestinians-speak-out-about-torture-in-pa-prison"><span>set
                      up</span></a> 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 <a
href="https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200204-disgraced-fatah-member-dahlan-waiting-to-lead-post-abbas-era/"><span>exile</span></a>.</span></p>
              <p><span>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.</span></p>
              <p><span>Soon after Abbas <a
href="http://www.palestinechronicle.com/abbas-says-all-ties-with-us-israel-officially-cut-including-security-coordination-video/"><span>claimed</span></a> 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.</span></p>
              <p><span>“Until now, the coordination is ongoing, but
                  relations are extremely tense,” the official <a
href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-abbas-speech-official-says-pa-has-not-halted-security-ties-with-israel/"><span>told</span></a> the Times
                  of Israel.</span></p>
              <p><span>‘Security coordination’ is perhaps the only
                  reason why Israel is allowing the PA to exist despite
                  the fact that Israel, with the support of the United
                  States, has completely reneged on all of its
                  commitments to the Oslo accords and all subsequent
                  agreements.</span></p>
              <p><span>It is quite surreal that the Palestinian
                  leadership in Ramallah, which once promised
                  Palestinians freedom and liberation in an independent,
                  sovereign state, now exists mostly to ensure the very
                  security of the Israeli army and illegal Jewish
                  settlers in occupied Palestine.</span></p>
              <p><span>The PA and the Israeli occupation now co-exist in
                  some kind of symbiotic relationship. To ensure the
                  continuation of that mutually beneficial relationship,
                  both entities are invested in suppressing any form of
                  resistance, or even mere protest, in the occupied West
                  Bank.</span></p>
              <p><span>In truth, whether the protesters in Qabatiya were
                  accompanied by gunmen or not would have made little
                  difference. The only form of protest or mass gathering
                  which is currently allowed in the West Bank is those
                  held by Abbas’s own loyalists, chanting his name and
                  chastising his enemies.</span></p>
              <p><span>Last year, the Arab Organization for Human Rights
                  in the UK <a
href="https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190119-pa-continues-to-torture-palestinian-prisoners-rights-group-says/"><span>accused</span></a> PA
                  security services of using repressive measures against
                  Palestinian activists and employing psychological and
                  physical torture against its critics; in other words,
                  duplicating Israeli policies in dealing with
                  Palestinians.</span></p>
              <p><span>Those who are often targeted by the PA’s
                  Preventive Security Service (PSS) and various other
                  intelligence units include students and previously
                  released prisoners.</span></p>
              <p><span>In its <a
href="https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/israel/palestine"><span>2020
                      report</span></a> on “Israel and Palestine”, Human
                  Rights Watch (HRW) said that hundreds of Palestinians
                  have been detained and tortured by PA security forces
                  for the most insignificant ‘offenses’.</span></p>
              <p><span>“The PA held 1,134 people in detention as of
                  April 21 (2019),” according to HRW figures.</span></p>
              <p><span>The rights groups also reported that “between
                  January 2018 and March 2019, (the PA) detained 1,609
                  persons for insulting ‘higher authorities’ and
                  creating ‘sectarian strife,’ charges that in effect
                  criminalize peaceful dissent, and 752 for social media
                  posts.”</span></p>
              <p><span>While many Palestinian prisoners held unlawfully
                  in Israel undergo prolonged hunger strikes demanding
                  their immediate release or better imprisonment
                  conditions, news of Palestinian prisoners on open
                  hunger strikes in PA prisons often go unreported.</span></p>
              <p><span>Ahmad al-Awartani, 25, was one of the thousands
                  of Palestinians to be arrested based on <a
href="http://www.palestinechronicle.com/palestinian-launches-hunger-strike-in-a-pa-jail/"><span>outrageous
                      charges</span></a>, as the young man was detained
                  under the so-called Cyber Crimes Law. He was arrested
                  by PA police for a single Facebook post in which he
                  criticized the Palestinian Authority.</span></p>
              <p><span>In April 2018, al-Awartani entered a hunger
                  strike that went almost completely unnoticed by
                  Palestinian, Arab, and international media.</span></p>
              <p><span>Arbitrary arrests, torture, and violence are
                  regular occurrences in occupied Palestine. While
                  Israel is responsible for the greater share of the
                  violation of Palestinian human rights, the PA is part
                  and parcel of that same Israeli strategy.</span></p>
              <p><span>While it is true that Abbas’s crackdowns are
                  tailored to serve his personal interests, PA action
                  has ultimately served the interests of Israel which
                  aim at keeping Palestinians divided and is using PA
                  security forces as an extra layer of protection for
                  its soldiers and settlers alike.</span></p>
              <p><span>That in mind, Zakareneh’s death cannot be viewed
                  as a marginal occurrence in the Palestinian struggle
                  against Israeli occupation and apartheid. Indeed, the
                  Palestinian Authority has made it crystal clear that
                  its violence against dissenting Palestinians is no
                  different than Israeli violence targeting any form of
                  resistance, anywhere in Palestine.</span></p>
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            <p><i>– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The
                Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His
                latest is “</i><a
href="https://www.amazon.com/These-Chains-Will-Broken-Palestinian/dp/1949762092"><i>These
                  Chains Will Be Broken</i></a><i>: Palestinian Stories
                of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity
                Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior
                Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global
                Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His
                website is </i><a href="https://www.ramzybaroud.net/"><i>www.ramzybaroud.net</i></a><i> </i></p>
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