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.