Hamas: PA ‘lead’ helped IDF track terrorist behind rabbi’s killing
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Hamas: PA ‘lead’ helped IDF track terrorist behind rabbi’s killing

Terror group's military wing slams Abbas's security coordination with Israel as 'a clear act of collaboration'

Khaled Abu Toameh is the Palestinian Affairs correspondent for The Times of Israel

Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, 22, head of the terror cell who shot dead Rabbi Raziel Shevach in the West Bank on January 9 (Twitter)
Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, 22, head of the terror cell who shot dead Rabbi Raziel Shevach in the West Bank on January 9 (Twitter)

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, on Wednesday claimed that the Palestinian Authority provided the lead that helped Israel track down and kill Ahmed Jarrar, the terrorist suspected of heading the cell that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach last month.

Meanwhile, Hamas and other Palestinian groups renewed their demand for an end to security coordination between the PA and Israel.

Jarrar, a member of Hamas’s military wing, was killed in a shootout with the IDF on Tuesday in the village of Al Yamoun in the Jenin area.

A video posted on the Al Qassam website claimed that immediately after Shevach was shot dead on January 9 in the northern West Bank, Israel and the PA began working together to identify the perpetrators.

IDF troops operate in the Jenin area on February 3, 2018 in pursuit of Ahmed Jarrar, a suspect in the killing of Rabbi Raziel Shevach. (Israel Defense Forces)

“The Palestinian Authority provided the lead to the enemy,” the video charged.

It said that after becoming aware of the PA’s collaboration with Israel, Jarrar began preparing himself for a “confrontation” with the IDF.

According to the Al Qassam video, Jarrar managed to evade capture during an IDF raid on January 17.

During that operation, Jarrar’s cousin, who is also called Ahmed, was shot dead.

The Hamas group claimed that despite a manhunt conducted by Israel and the PA, Jarrar afterwards managed to evade capture at least twice.

A senior PA security official in Ramallah strongly denied the Hamas claims as “fabrications” and “lies.”

Following the killing of Jarrar, several Palestinian groups, including Hamas, renewed their call to halt security coordination between the PA security forces and Israel.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach with his family, in an undated photo (Courtesy of the family)

Hamas’s political leaders and spokesmen have thus far refrained from holding the PA responsible for the killing of Jarrar, although they continue to demand an end to security coordination with Israel.

The Al Qassam video marked the first attempt by Hamas to directly link the PA to the killing of Jarrar.

The PA has long faced criticism from many Palestinians over continued security coordination with Israel.

“Security coordination (with Israel) is a crime against our people and resistance and a clear act of collaboration,” said Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip. “Security coordination must end.”

Another top Hamas official, Ismail Al Ashkar, said that his movement was convinced that security coordination between the PA and Israel had “played a major role” in tracking down Jarrar.

“Our people and our factions need to take a stance against this security coordination,” Al Askar added.

Abu Mujahed, spokesman for the Palestinian Resistance Committees, a coalition of various terror groups in the Gaza Strip, claimed that were it not for the security coordination, Israel would not have been able to track down and kill Jarrar.

“Security coordination with Israel must end for once and for all,” Abu Mujahed told the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV station.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also repeated their appeal to the PA to end all forms of security cooperation with Israel in wake of the killing of Jarrar.

PLO and Fatah leaders who met in Ramallah recently recommended that the Palestinians suspend security coordination with Israel. The PA government announced on Tuesday that it has formed a committee whose goal is to devise plans for terminating relations with Israel on all levels, including security and economic ties.

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