The Palestinian Authority Faces Two Options; Fight 'Israel' or Fight Palestinians
The recent arrests came as a shock to Nablus locals, who took to the streets in order to protest the decision of the PA to target the Palestinian resistance.
Violent clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s security forces, this Monday, resulted in the death of a 53-year-old and represented a turning point in the relationship between the PA and the newly formed resistance factions inside the occupied West Bank.
On Monday evening the PA’s Preventative Security Service arrested two Palestinian resistance fighters wanted by "Israel", Musab Shtayyeh and Ameed Tabila, in the city of Nablus. Musab Shtayyeh, the most prominent of the two, had evaded multiple Israeli arrest campaigns since June of last year. Shtayyeh also managed to escape an Israeli assassination attempt on July 24, which left three other Palestinian resistance fighters dead, after "Israel" had stormed the city of Nablus with hundreds of military personnel, including special forces units.
The arrests came as a shock to Nablus locals, who took to the streets in order to protest the decision of the PA to target the Palestinian resistance. In both Nablus and Jenin, the two locations where Palestinian armed groups have been the most active, armed fighters took to the streets to make announcements condemning the PA’s actions. Although the resistance forces in Nablus clearly stated that their guns were not aimed at anyone but the occupation, they stressed that their patience should not be tested.
It didn’t take long before young people took to the streets to burn tires in central Nablus and chanted in support of Shtayyeh and Tabila, to which the PA security forces responded with gunfire and tear gas. Palestinian resistance fighters also fired back towards the PA forces and it was later declared that a 53-year-old civilian had been shot and killed, the incident was blamed on the Palestinian Authority.
The images coming out of the West Bank have been striking; young men hurling stones at militarized vehicles, as Western-trained forces fire tear gas and bullets back, except this time the militarised force is not Israeli, it calls itself the Palestinian. To add insult to injury, it has emerged that the PA took the decision to carry out its arrest campaign based upon a request given by the Israeli occupation regime. Hussein al-Sheikh, the Secretary General of the PA’s executive committee, seems to be the source of the order given to carry out the arrests.
Right now, the PA has been put into its usual defensive mode, where it attempts to justify its actions and bids to convince Palestinians that its ‘Security coordination’ efforts are in the best interest of the Palestinian people, something that Palestinians see through. All of the explanations and excuses in the world will fail to cover up what took place this Monday. Just as was the case last year, when the PA’s security forces brutally beat the beloved activist, Nizar Banat, to death, after pulling him out of his home in front of his family. According to Amnesty International, it’s clear at this time that the PA failed to ensure accountability for the assassination of Nizar Banat and so it should come as no surprise that PA forces are sliding down a slippery slope into chaos.
Just as the United States and its NATO allies have failed to adjust their mindsets to the current era, so too has the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. We must recognise that we are now witnessing the era in which the expression of a new Palestinian generation is being felt; armed resistance factions are rising, an armed resistance populated - primarily - by young people between the ages of 18-25. When we break down what this means; it suggests that today's resistance fighters in the West Bank were only small children when the Second Intifada was happening. The fighters in Jenin and Nablus today, fit into a trend that began emerging in the early to mid 80’s, when Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) cadres would organise themselves with modest means to fight the occupation.
The Palestinian resistance in the West Bank do not remember what it felt like to see the resistance crushed, during "Israel’s" brutal ‘operation defensive shield’ of 2002, they are not afraid and believe in victory. The biggest problem they now face however, began in 2002, following ‘operation defensive shield’; that is the CIA’s dismantling and reformation of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. Nobody likes to talk about this, but it is true and cannot be disputed, at the behest of Israeli, EU and US interests, the PA’s security forces were transformed into a Western-Jordanian trained and equipped “anti-terrorism” task force, designed to do the heavy lifting for the Israeli occupation army.
Since the end of the Second Intifada, in 2007, we haven’t seen the energized armed struggle that we see today in the West Bank and so the PA’s forces have been capable of performing their duties, with little to no pushback. However, it has been way too long since the Oslo Agreements and the rhetoric of the Zionist entity has transitioned back to that which it maintained during the 1970’s, regarding Palestinian self governance. Palestinians don’t see any hope for change and the PA is not making any progress whatsoever towards achieving any form of Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian bourgeoisie of Ramallah are happy living in their imaginary fantasy world and the PA has now absorbed the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). There has been no national elections since 2006 and the non-economy of the West Bank, which is completely controlled by the Zionist entity and Jordanian regime, is getting worse for the poorest in society.
The PA is now beginning to face its worst nightmare, the ultimatum that we all knew was coming at some point; they can turn their guns on the Zionist entity, or they can turn their guns on the Palestinian resistance and face the end of their power as we know it. There is no more standing in the middle, attempting to please the West by collaborating with the Israeli occupation forces on “security coordination” and playing the game of condemning Zionist atrocities, whilst begging on their knees for peace. The next chapter is going to be violent, now it is on those within that Fatah Party leadership to decide where the PA is heading and what side of the violence they are going to be on, because asking for peace talks is not going to solve today's issues.