The PA said it has determined that its security officers in the northern West Bank were exposed to corruption. Some of the officers were linked to the death of the governor of the northern province of Jenin on May 2.
“This was overlooked for some time,” PA security commander in Jenin, Radi Asida, said.
Asida said PA officers were responsible for what he termed the “security chaos” in the northern West Bank. He said officers were arrested in connection with unauthorized activities, including gun-running, extortion and murder.
“We will also detain anyone suspected of arms trading or possession,” Asida told the Palestinian news agency Maan on May 7. “Unfortunately, we paid a high price until the orders to handle this phenomenon were issued.”
Asida did not say how many PA officers were arrested in a crackdown in Jenin on May 6. He said the officers were charged in connection with the death of Jenin Gov. Qaddura Mussa in wake of a shooting attack on his home.
Officials said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ordered the arrest of the security officers. They said Fatah gunmen, including former commander Zakaria Obeidi, were also detained and interrogated.
Abbas appointed Tulkarm Gov. Talal Dweikat to the post in Jenin. Dweikat warned that the PA would not tolerate chaos and was prepared to arrest any suspects.
PA sources said the officers were suspected of joining militias in the Jenin area. They said Mussa was blamed for the killing of a Palestinian fighter in a battle with PA security forces on April 15 in the village of Bir Al Basha near Jenin.
“Qaddura Musa was in the forefront against those outlaws and criminals, and we think the Palestinian Authority will double its efforts in confronting them,” PA secretary-general Tayeb Abdul Rahim said.