Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chaos In The West Bank?

Challah Hu Akbar has been blogging since February about the Abbas crackdown on websites critical of his regime.

But the problem of the lack of free speech and human rights in the West Bank under Abbas and the Palestinian Authority go much further.

Khaled Abu Toameh addresses the question Is the Palestinian Authority Losing Control in the West Bank?:

Dozens of Palestinian security officers, some of them holding very high ranks, have thus far been rounded up and transferred to a Palestinian prison in Jericho.

The officers, who were trained and armed by US and EU security experts over the past years, are suspected of involvement in various types of crime, including extortion, armed robbery, kidnappings, physical assaults and fraud. Some of them, according to Palestinian sources in the West Bank, are also suspected of involvement in trafficking weapons and drugs, The clampdown was ordered by Abbas following a series of incidents in Jenin, which reached their peak when unidentified gunmen opened tried to assassinate the Palestinian governor of the city, Kadoura Musa, who was not hurt in the assassination bid, but died a few hours later of a massive heart attack.
Read the whole thing.

Toameh notes that Abbas has problems that go beyond dealing with inquisitive journalists--Abbas is now facing increased crime and dissatisfaction with both Abbas and the Palestinian Authority itself. These are security officers who were trained by the US and the EU who are now suspected of extortion, armed robbery, kidnappings, physical assaults, fraud, and weapons and drugs trafficking. Rifles, pistols and large amounts of ammunition are being confiscated from clans, armed gangs and some security officers.

These latest developments make for an interesting backdrop as Abbas prepares to return to New York to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state.

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