Haaretz, Sep. 20, 2015


On Friday afternoon [Palestinian] forces prevented demonstrators from reaching an Israeli military post near Bethlehem to protest Israeli policy at Al-Aqsa. A (hidden) camera captured security men fiercely beating up at least two of the demonstrators. [...]

Even if “individuals” from the police and the national security force had not attacked the protesters, they were deployed to form a barrier between the protesters and the separation barrier in south Bethlehem and the Israeli observation/sniper tower. It wasn’t the first time the Palestinian police have blocked demonstrators, or the first time the public has viewed the PA as a traitor or subcontractor of the occupation.

Damiri told the media the Palestinian security officers were instructed to prevent young people from Area A territories (under full Palestinian control under the Oslo Accords) from reaching Israeli army positions on the seam line out of fear for their lives. Israeli soldiers might shoot them.

That too is a familiar response in such circumstances. And when Damiri says “instructed,” he of course means on the order of Abbas.

The instruction contradicts Abbas’ remarks at last week’s news conference, when he said that every shahid (martyr) would go to heaven and every injured person would be rewarded by Allah. The contradiction shows that Abbas must talk tough to hide his helplessness and efforts to achieve calm. [...]

Palestinians are complaining even more about their economic problems. There are reports of increasing crime in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and in Gaza there is talk, hushed, of a dramatic rise in the suicide rate.