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July 18, 2022 10:25 am
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Where Were Palestinian Police During the Shooting of Al Jazeera Journalist?

avatar by Elder of Ziyon

Opinion

People light candles during a vigil in memory of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid, outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

During the entire Shireen Abu Akleh controversy — where the Al Jazeera journalist was killed during Palestinian firefights with Israeli forces in Jenin — the Jewish state was ruthlessly attacked by the media (often with zero objectivity). But there was one larger question that has barely been asked:

Where were the Palestinian police?

We see lots of videos of terrorists in full military gear — and with assault weapons — walking the streets of Jenin. But Jenin is in Area A, which is supposed to be under full Palestinian security control. No one is supposed to be brandishing weapons besides the Palestinian police, under signed agreements with Israel. (And those signed agreements are international law.)

Israeli security forces only go into Jenin because the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces aren’t doing their basic jobs.

Back in December, this was already becoming apparent:

Asked if the PA was losing control of the situation in Jenin, the officer, a resident of Burqin village, replied, “That’s true; they are losing control not only here in Jenin, but in all of the West Bank.”

And in April:

The [Jenin] camp now, however, is virtually off limits to PA forces, who neglected to police it in the years following the end of the Second Intifada. The vacuum that was left was filled by young, impoverished and unemployed youth, who joined armed gangs, initially to commit crimes, including the smuggling of arms and drug trafficking.

The West has paid millions to bolster the Palestinian security forces since Oslo. In fact, the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) was established in 2005 for exactly that reason:

Mission

The USSC coordinates with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to enhance security cooperation; leads coalition efforts in advising the Palestinian Authority on security sector reform; and recommends opportunities for nations and international organizations to contribute to the development of a self-sustaining Palestinian security sector.

Goal

The Palestinian Security Sector is able to effectively coordinate with the Government of Israel and international community, has accountable institutions capable of independently sustaining the security apparatus, while providing a safe and secure environment in the West Bank.

It has had 17 years, and Jenin is just as lawless as it was during the Second Intifada. This is why there were no Palestinian police securing the scene where Shireen Abu Akleh was shot, and this is why there is essentially no real evidence from the scene itself.

Lots of people angrily say that Israel has no business being in Jenin, and that IDF incursions there stoke tension. That is looking at it backwards. The Palestinian Authority has abdicated their role to provide security for all of Area A, and have let Jenin and other areas turn in into terrorism hotbeds.

It seems like the PA would happily allow the US and EU to take over some responsibility for governance and has little interest in taking over the role it is supposed to take. It has been nearly 30 years since Oslo — more than enough time for a government to mature enough to take control of its people — but the PA is still acting like it doesn’t want to govern at all.

So we have lawless areas in the West Bank, and no one is to blame but the Palestinian Authority.

If the PA had adhered to their signed agreements under international law, Shireen Abu Akleh would likely still be alive today.

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