What happens in Jenin camp? The security of the authority escalates, and the resistance factions are calling for dialogue
Ramallah Jenin refugee camp returns to the fore again, but this time not in the confrontation with the Israeli occupation, but in the often tense relationship with the Palestinian Authority.
During the past two days, the outskirts of the camp (the northern West Bank) witnessed confrontations between the residents and Palestinian gunmen on one side, and a Palestinian security force on the other.
Activists broadcast video clips in which the sounds of exchange of fire can be heard, and pictures showing the attack of security forces vehicles with stones.
While the Palestinian Authority says that it is in a continuous process of imposing security, the “Hamas” and “Islamic Jihad” movements say that the target is resistance groups pursued by Israel and who take the camp as a sanctuary, and called – via Al Jazeera Net – for dialogue to preserve the symbolism of the camp on the one hand and the sovereignty of the authority on the other. .
The camp has enjoyed special symbolism since its invasion in April 2002, when the military wings collectively responded to the Israeli invasion, which killed about 52 martyrs, and destroyed about 150 homes, and in return, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed.
Witness – Jenin camp youth throw stones at the security forces of the authority that came to carry out political arrests tonight pic.twitter.com/79dXT2y8Dm
– Palestine Network for Dialogue (@paldf) November 19, 2021
Jenin and the Great Escape
The events in Jenin cannot be viewed in isolation from the 6 prisoners from the same governorate who managed to liberate themselves from the Israeli Gilboa prison in what was known as the “Great Escape” on September 6. The Islamic and Hamas – within what was known as the “common room”, which pledged to provide protection for the fugitive prisoners if they reach the camp, before re-arresting them.
After the escape incident, the Israeli “Al-Jalama” checkpoint (north of Jenin) and other Israeli targets was repeatedly fired upon. In fact, the Israeli forces were repeatedly fired upon every time they stormed the city.
The grave funeral
Then came the funeral of a prominent Hamas leader in Jenin, Wasfi Qabha, on November 12, which was witnessed by thousands of Palestinians, and was punctuated by gunfire in the air wearing the insignia of various factions.
What happened at Qabha’s funeral was exceptional in terms of the participation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, and perhaps this is what prompted a Palestinian official to describe it as dangerous.
Kamal Abu al-Rub, the city’s deputy governor, described to the local radio “Alam” the day before yesterday, Saturday, the funeral procession before it as a “dangerous indicator. The crowds were from all over the West Bank.” everybody”.
On the course of what happened last Friday evening, he said that a security force tried to arrest “a rioter and shooter,” and the camp residents met them by throwing stones at the security forces, pointing out that the force came under fire and hit a vehicle with bullets.
A Palestinian source from Jenin camp revealed to Al Jazeera Net that the funeral of Qabha was surprising, as the security services prepared for the funeral in the city of Jenin, while the funeral and burial were transferred to its camp, which allowed a greater presence for mourners and the emergence of armed elements.
According to the same source, security forces were recently brought in from other governorates in preparation for entering the camp, but he rules out the plan’s success, “because the camp residents reject the existence of the authority.”
Efforts to maintain security
For its part, the official news agency quoted the governor of Jenin, Akram Rajoub, as saying, “All members of the security establishment are making great efforts to maintain security and order and establish the rule of law.”
He added that “every hand that extends to the security men with evil is a sinful, treacherous hand that lives on chaos and chaos and dominates the dignity of people, their lives and their property,” and condemned “the paid and isolated voices that attacked in the past days the sons of the security establishment in Jenin.”
Video| Local sources: “An exchange of fire between gunmen and the security services in Jenin camp.” pic.twitter.com/ccAEZKMSdU
– Quds News Network (@qudsn) November 19, 2021
Fingers of Israel and change of security leaders
Israel is not far from what is happening in Jenin. Rather, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper claimed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to change the leaders of the security services in Jenin, and instructed a military operation there due to the emergence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants.
The newspaper quoted on Saturday evening, according to Palestinian sources, that an operation such as the one currently being carried out in Jenin was planned a year and a half ago, but was canceled after the outbreak of the Corona virus, which began in March 2020.
She added that the Palestinian Authority has lost control over large parts of Jenin in recent months due to the increase of “armed gangs”, referring specifically to its association with Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas.
The newspaper says that the recent entry of the Palestinian security services into the camp was the beginning of the process of returning the authority to Jenin and entering the camp and staying there permanently.
On November 14, the spokesman for the Palestinian security services, Talal Dwaikat, confirmed the presence of “shifts” among the leaders of the security services in Jenin.
Dweikat added in his interview with the official Voice of Palestine radio that “the movements came within their normal framework within the framework of a change process aimed at enhancing the security situation, and it included the directors of the security services in the governorate.”
Invitation to dialogue
The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements called on Al Jazeera Net for dialogue, preserving the symbolism of the camp on the one hand, and the authority’s position on the other, and they denied any connection to the resistance factions with chaos and shooting at the headquarters of the authority.
“The real way out of the current crisis is for the new leaders of the security services to open a dialogue with the camp’s national and Islamic men and statures,” said Hamas leader Khaled al-Hajj – who is from Jenin camp.
Al-Hajj called for “preserving the camp, its prestige, its value and its fervent revolutionary spirit, while at the same time preserving the authority’s position so that its status or sovereignty would not be compromised.”
Al-Hajj denies that the Jenin camp “represents a state of security chaos or a den for drugs and car thieves, as some claim.” Rather, “the problem with the camp is that groups fighting Israel refuse to enter the occupation of Jenin.”
Al-Hajj says that the Palestinian Authority cannot impose anything by force on the camp, “and the correct destination is the real dialogue with the people of the camp, sitting with them and listening to them,” stressing that the camp in itself does not constitute a burden on the authority or the Fatah movement, but rather a lever for the homeland, the national project and unity. Nationalism, and has proven its worth throughout history, he said.
Demonization of the camp
In turn, the leader of the Jihad Movement, Khader Adnan, denies to Al Jazeera Net that the campaign against Jenin camp is for criminal cases, but “for the appearance of the Al-Quds Brigades and Al-Qassam Brigades at the funeral of the martyr Engineer Wasfi Qabha, as stated by a political leader,” referring to the statements of the Deputy Governor of Jenin.
He continues that their presence “is normal in a camp, in which the Islamic Jihad movement and the Palestinian resistance were strongly present in the battle of the camp (2002), in real unity between all the military arms: Al-Qassam, Saraya and Al-Aqsa Martyrs (affiliated with the Fatah movement).”
Adnan stressed that the weapons of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were not and will not be raised in the face of the authority or the Palestinian security services, explaining that the entry of security elements affiliated with the authority to geographical areas that it does not know may lead to “losses on both sides.”
He added that the occupation has been refraining from entering Jenin camp for 4 months, and wants the authority to do so, noting that the security grip will not succeed in dealing with any area in the West Bank, and that the attempt to demonize the camp is not for the general Palestinian interest, he said.