Israel arrests Palestinian security officers for ties to Hamas cells

Special to

RAMALLAH — The Israel Army has been arresting Palestinian Authority
security officers suspected of cooperating with insurgents.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said the Army along with the Israel
Security Agency arrested more than a dozen PA security officers over the
last three months. They said the officers included senior commanders of
Western-financed PA security services.

Palestinian security officers assemble in the West Bank town of Hebron. /AFP/Getty Images

“There is an assessment that an increasing number of PA officers were
being hired by either Hamas or Fatah elements for operations against
Israel,” a source said.

On Dec. 30, the Army arrested five people in the Hebron area of the
southern West Bank. The detainees included a member of the PA Presidential Guard, directly responsible to chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The sources identified the PG officer as Mohammed Al Tal, arrested at
his home in Dahariya south of Hebron. They said Tal, 19, was accused of
working with Hamas cells in the area.

PG was one of two PA security agencies directly supported by the United
States. The U.S. State Department has invested tens of millions of dollars to form paramilitary and counter-insurgency units in PG.

Earlier, Israel Army units arrested two senior members of the PA’s
Preventive Security Apparatus. The two, also based in the Hebron region,
were said to have been working with Hamas elements that had established
cells in the area.

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