Thursday, September 23, 2010

Activists face broad PA crackdown in West Bank

Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 22 September 2010

""The Palestinian Authority (PA) forces came late at night and started shooting inside the camp," Shihab said. "They came in, shooting, acting like the Israeli military. They wanted to make the people afraid. Everyone went to the main street and started throwing stones, because people thought they were the Israelis, not the PA forces."

Shihab, who didn't want to give his last name, is a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist political party, in Dheisheh refugee camp in southern Bethlehem in occupied West Bank. He told The Electronic Intifada that in the last few weeks, the PA's security services have been waging a campaign of intimidation and violence inside Dheisheh, intent on what he called "destroying the unity and community within the camp."....

Shihab said that the PFLP's responsibility now is to protect everyone in the Dheisheh refugee camp community. "We operate within the refugees' culture, and we support each other regardless of political beliefs or affiliation," he said. "When [al-Qassam Brigades leader] Iyad Asad Abu Shelbaya was assassinated in Tulkarem by Israeli forces, where was the PA for the security they're talking about? Everyone in our community understands that their version of security is the security of the occupation, not the security of the Palestinians. Where is the PA to defend us?"

He added, "where was the PA a month ago, when the Israeli army came into the camp to destroy houses? Where are they every night when [the Israeli army] comes in to arrest people?" Taking a sip of coffee, Shihab said, "They will never succeed at destroying the unity within the refugee camps. We will remain unified.""

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