The Israeli army overnight arrested the head of the Palestinian Tanzim terrorist organization, the Shin Bet security service said Monday. The group is allied to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement.
Jamal Abu Lel, 48, ran the organization from the Qalandiya refugee camp outside the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to the Shin Bet.
He used the organization to channel money and direct shooting attacks against Israelis, the security services said in a statement.
Abu Lel is a resident of an East Jerusalem neighborhood, and possesses the ID card of a permanent resident of Israel.
The arrest came as violence continued in the capital.
On Monday, a Palestinian girl who pulled a knife from her pocket near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City was arrested by police, who found a second knife in her bag. Officers subdued the young woman, said to be aged 15. The previous evening, two Palestinians were killed at the same site after opening fire on Border Police officers with automatic weapons, police said.
The PA’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Monday that Palestinians were sacrificing themselves by carrying out attacks against Israelis for the sake of the rest of their countrymen.
During a visit to Japan with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Malki said that Palestinians born under Israeli occupation have seen nothing “but humiliation, soldiers’ checkpoints, deaths and killing.”
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, meanwhile, asked US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to pass on a message to Abbas that Israel is seeking renewed peace negotiations and rebuffing unilateral moves.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.