The Palestinian Authority came out against a major West Bank raid by Israeli forces.
Hundreds of Israeli troops entered Nablus on Wednesday, imposing a curfew, arresting several suspected terrorists, and causing dozens of Palestinian casualties in confrontations with local stone-throwers.
With the operation still under way Friday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Prime Minister Salam Fayyad issued a statement of condemnation, saying Israel was jeopardizing his plan to set up an independent security mechanism in the West Bank with international backing.
“These operations destroy our efforts in the field of security, which started bearing fruits lately in a way that people felt the change,” Fayyad said, referring to his deployment of Palestinian Authority police in Nablus, Tulkarm and Bethlehem.
Israel’s actions, Fayyad said, are having “a tremendous negative impact on efforts being exerted,
including at international level, to revive the peace process”.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants to show he can bring security to the West Bank and thus build trust with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, with whom he revived peace talks in November.
But the the terrorist threat still emanating from the West Bank, and suspicions that some Palestinian Authority personnel may be complicit, Olmert has made clear Israel will continue its own security operations.
Maariv reported that Israel’s forces in Nablus found two short-range rockets of the kind fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Israeli military officials had no immediate comment on the report.