With Israel’s blessing, PA forces operate in East Jerusalem area
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Analysis

With Israel’s blessing, PA forces operate in East Jerusalem area

Four Israelis suspected of dealing drugs and weapons arrested by PA, handed over to Israel

Avi Issacharoff

Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.

Illustrative photo of Palestinian policemen in al-Ram, near Jerusalem.  (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Palestinian policemen in al-Ram, near Jerusalem. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority security forces, with Israeli approval, have recently conducted broad operations in the streets of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. 

Sources in both the Israeli and Palestinian security establishments confirmed to The Times of Israel that on Thursday of last week, PA security forces launched a major operation in a-Ram, a northern Jerusalem neighborhood that lies outside the municipal boundaries but borders Neve Yaakov, a Jewish neighborhood close to the IDF’s Central Command headquarters. 

Palestinian officers on Thursday night arrested a number of drug and weapons dealers. Among the detainees were four Israeli-Arab citizens suspected of being involved in criminal activity. The four were later transferred to Israeli authorities.

Palestinian security activity in Jerusalem area villages is not unusual. In recent months, PA security forces have conducted operations and actions in other villages, such as Anata (northwest Jerusalem), Dahit al-Barid (next to Ramallah), Izria and Abu Dis (East Jerusalem) and in Kfar Ekev and Samir Amis, villages in the northern Jerusalem area that are considered to be part of the municipal area of Jerusalem.

Nearly all the operations that are conducted in the area around Jerusalem are carried out in conjunction with Israel. All of these neighborhoods and villages are located on the Israeli side of the security barrier and many of their residents carry Israeli residency cards. However, the PA forces are not permitted to operate in the Old City, Beit Hanina or the Shuafat refugee camp.

In recent weeks, PA security forces have conducted numerous operations in West Bank refugee camps considered very “problematic,” such as Jenin, Balata and Askar. The operations have focused on the confiscation of illegal weapons as well as seeking to arrest wanted members of Islamic terror organizations.

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