Palestinian security forces defend Nablus crackdown
Published Tuesday 03/12/2013 (updated) 04/12/2013 09:35
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Recent security campaigns carried out across the West Bank by Palestinian national security forces have been largely successful, security forces spokesman Adnan Dmeiri told Ma'an Tuesday.
The security activities have had an 80 percent success rate, Adnan Dmeiri said, despite the the fact that several wanted fugitives have fled to locations in Area C, where Israel has complete security control.
"The expression 'security campaign' is wrong because a security campaign is limited in time and place, such as the one in al-Ram," Dmeiri said, referring to a deployment of PA forces in the Area C village in early November.
"However, what we are carrying out currently is an ongoing security activity. We can't afford to keep the elite squad of the Palestinian national security service in all districts because that is very costly."
The elite security squad is sent to different districts to provide support to the Palestinian security apparatus in that specific area, he added.
The security campaign in al-Ram led to the arrest of 60 wanted criminals, Dmeiri told Ma'an.
Locals, however, said that the campaign failed to achieve its goals because wanted fugitives simply fled to nearby East Jerusalem towns of Eizariya and Anata, where PA forces can not enter.
On Monday, 500 officers from the Palestinian national security service arrived in Nablus as part of a campaign to restore order to the northern West Bank city.
Commander of Nablus security Brigadier Muhammad Hammuda told Ma'an that "the main goal is to make sure that all residents of Nablus and the surrounding villages and refugee camps enjoy security and safety."
Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem on the West Bank side of Israel's separation wall suffer from extreme neglect from Israeli authorities, who rarely enter the neighborhoods, leading to high crime rates and problems with drugs.
The Palestinian National Security Forces are the paramilitary force of the Palestinian National Authority. Their movements and operations are widely subject to Israeli approval.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.