600 PA police, agents killed since 2000[most attacking Israel]
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 7, 2005
At least 600 members of various Palestinian Authority security services have
been killed since the beginning of the intifada more than four years ago,
most of them while participating in violence against Israel, a senior PA
security official revealed Sunday.
The official told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of PA policemen and
security agents had also been arrested by the IDF during the same period for
their involvement, both directly and indirectly, in armed attacks against
According to the official, most of the security personnel killed by the IDF
had joined various armed militias in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shortly
after the violence erupted in September 2000. He said, however, that many
others were killed in Israeli raids on PA security installations or during
clashes with gunmen and were not involved with any militia.
The majority of the policemen chose to join Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa
Martyrs Brigades, while only a few preferred Hamas and Islamic Jihad
militias, he added.
"Most of these men doubled as security officers and members of armed
groups," the official admitted. "The fact that they had received
paramilitary training as policemen was an asset because they were able to
implement the tactics they learned in the fighting with the Israeli army."
Many PA policemen and security agents were trained by Egyptian, Jordanian
and American security experts; others had attended military academies in
former Eastern Bloc countries and the former Soviet Union before and after
the signing of the Oslo Accords.
The policemen who also "moonlighted" as militiamen came mainly from the
General Intelligence Force, the Preventative Security Service and the
National Security Force.
The official said the best example was that of Youssef Kabaha, nicknamed Abu
Jandal, who served as the commander of the armed militias in the Jenin
refugee camp during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002.
Abu Jandal, a lieutenant-general with the National Security Force in the
West Bank, played a major role in organizing the gunmen who fought against
the IDF in the camp. He was killed during the clashes.
Abu Jandal's friends said that although he was on the PA's payroll, he also
served as commander of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad in the Jenin refugee
Another famous case is that of Jihad al-Amarin, founder of the "suicide
division" in the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. Amarin, from the
Zaitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, was a senior officer with the National
He was killed in an IAF missile attack on his car in July 2002. His nephew,
Wael al-Nammara, 33, who was also killed in the attack, was, in addition to
his membership in the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a senior officer with the
Preventative Security Service.
The Preventative Security Service in the Gaza Strip has also been boasting
that two of its officers were involved in attacks on the IDF over the past
In the first case, Baha Abu al-Said, who was also a member of the Aksa
Martyrs Brigades, led a group of gunmen that infiltrated an IDF outpost,
killing three soldiers.
His colleague in the same security force, Yasser Khatib, was the commander
of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Rafah before he was killed by the IDF last
year. Khatib was accused of carrying out several attacks on IDF bases and
Khaled Shawish, one of the commanders of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the
West Bank who spent the last three years hiding in the Mukata "presidential"
compound in Ramallah, was also a senior officer with the National Security
In a recent interview, Shawish, who remains at large, revealed that he had
been stationed at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus before he decided to join the Aksa
Martyrs Brigades and carry out a string of fatal attacks on settlers and
The PA security forces have rarely distanced themselves from the actions of
their officers. On the contrary, most have boasted about the fact that their
officers were also involved in the fighting against Israel.
Obituary notices distributed in the West Bank town of Salfit by Fatah and
the PA General Intelligence Force a few months ago revealed that the local
commander of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, who was killed in a mysterious
explosion, had doubled as a security officer.
Jihad Hassan, who was known as Abu Na'im, was the commander of the Aksa
Martyrs Brigades in Salfit and has been wanted by Israel for two years.
Residents said Hassan had purchased from an arms dealer an M-16 rifle that
apparently had been booby-trapped by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
They said the rifle exploded while Hassan was cleaning it. He was rushed to
a hospital in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
An obituary notice published by the General Intelligence Force, headed by
Gen. Tawfik Tirawi, revealed that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades commander was
also serving in the force with the rank of lieutenant.
"The command of the Palestinian General Intelligence Force and all its
officers and soldiers mourn the death of martyr and hero lieutenant Jihad
Hassan, who was martyred on the soil of Salfit on September 26, 2004, while
carrying out his duties," said the obituary statement.
But what is perhaps most worrying is the fact that some policemen who were
trained in the US and Europe eventually ended up joining the Aksa Martyrs
Brigades. At least two Fatah gunmen from the West Bank recently admitted
that they had been trained for six weeks as bodyguards by American security
experts near Washington, DC. The two were later involved in a number of
armed attacks against Israel and suspected "collaborators."
In an attempt to contain the phenomenon, the PA leadership last week issued
an order banning policemen and security agents from carrying weapons while
they are off duty.
"We are serious about putting an end to this chaos because it shows a lack
of discipline among our security forces," the PA security official told the