Many of the Israelis living in Judea and Samaria have long expressed concern over the Palestinian Authority’s armed police force, which is active in the region. This week, an alert resident captured armed PA officers on film as they drove through “Area C” – a region ostensibly under full Israeli control.
The officers were seen driving on the main highway in the Binyamin region. The resident who caught them on film is active with the Tatzpit organization, which documents Arab attacks in Judea and Samaria.
IDF spokespeople said in response that the incident was an unusual event, and would be investigated. PA officers normally only enter Area C in coordination with the IDF, they said.
Residents of the region disagreed. “This is not at all a one-time event,” one said. “The PA policemen treat the area like it belongs to them, and the IDF does not deter them.”
“They travel on the roads both covertly and openly,” he added. The anonymous resident expressed fear that “it’s only a matter of time until they pull out a weapon.”
Community leaders agreed that PA officers have been increasingly active in the area. “The Palestinian officers are brazen because the IDF relies on them to do the work,” said Binyamin Residents’ Committee head Itzik Shadmi.
The PA’s armed forces are responsible for enforcing the law in PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, known as “Area A.” Among the laws they enforce are laws against selling land to Jews, or helping the Israeli army to fight terrorism.
PA police officers have a history of involvement in terrorism, and have murdered several Israeli civilians in recent years.
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