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Senior Palestinian security official admits Hamas and Islamic Jihad recruit youth for West Bank violence

'Hamas and Jihad want to destroy the West Bank, and they don’t want the PA to be around,' says PA general

Palestinian gunmen clash with Palestinian security forces in Nablus, in the West Bank on September 20, 2022, following the arrest of Hamas members by Palestinian security forces. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

The director of Central Operations for Palestinian Preventive Security Services (PSS) recently revealed that the terrorist organizations Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are increasingly exploiting youth to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.''

Palestinian Authority (PA) Brig.-Gen. Hassan Asfour reportedly told members of Arab American communities in Chicago and Virginia that the PA had stepped up its efforts to arrest Hamas and PIJ terrorists in the West Bank in recent months.

“Hamas and Jihad want to destroy the West Bank, and they don’t want the PA to be around,” Asfour said. The senior PA security official revealed that Hamas and the PIJ are cynically targeting the socio-economically weakest youth with “no food to eat” and “nothing to live for.”

The PA is struggling to maintain its waning influence in the West Bank. On one hand, Hamas threatens both Israel and the PA. On the other hand, PA is aware of the fact that its security cooperation with Israel is highly unpopular among the local Arab population. This dilemma often leads to contradictory statements by the PA leadership.

During a rare visit earlier in July, PA President Mahmoud Abbas praised the Jenin refugee camp, which has become a terror hub for anti-Israel attacks in recent years. The Palestinian Authority's influence in that area is limited.

One IDF soldier and at least ten terrorists were killed during Israel’s recent Operation Home and Garden counter-terrorism raid in Jenin. However, Abbas, who leads the Fatah party, also criticized his rivals, Hamas and PIJ by vowing to “cut the hand of those who tamper with the unity and security of the Palestinian people.”

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip after ousting the Fatah party in 2007, is increasingly trying to destabilize the West Bank region and expand its influence.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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