The Palestinian Authority said it secured a key West Bank city.
After nine senior Al-Aksa Brigades fugitives turned themselves in to Palestinian Authority police in Nablus on Tuesday, P.A. sources said the city could now be considered secure. Nablus police had previously rounded up or disarmed several other wanted men.
Nablus, long a hotbed of terrorists, is seen as a proving ground for P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ pledge to impose security in the West Bank so peace talks with Israel can be revived.
Israeli forces carried out a four-day sweep of Nablus last week in a move seen as signaling displeasure with the extent of P.A. crackdowns. But a senior Israeli security source said Wednesday that Jerusalem looked favorably on the more recent developments in Nablus.
The Palestinian Authority has also deployed police in Bethlehem and Tulkarm, and talks are under way with Israel on further security handovers in the West Bank.