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PA police arrest 22 in Tubas, in fresh arrest raids

April 20, 2015 9:06 P.M. (Updated: April 21, 2015 10:03 P.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian police arrested 22 wanted Palestinians from the Tubas district in the northern West Bank on Monday.

Police spokesperson Luay Irziqat told Ma'an that in addition to the 22 arrests, Palestinian police had issued 27 fresh arrest warrants and eight police summons.

The arrests are only the latest in an apparent crime sweep by Palestinian police forces across the West Bank in recent days.

On Saturday, police arrested 12 wanted Palestinians in southwestern Hebron, and the previous day saw 60 Palestinians arrested in the Bethlehem and Ramallah districts.

In Tuesday last week a further 11 Palestinians were detained in the Jenin district.

A police spokesperson said that all Friday's arrests took place in Area C.

Under the Oslo Accord, Israel has full civil and military authority in Area C, and Israeli forces rarely arrest Palestinian criminals who they do not deem a "security threat" to Israel.

International Crisis Group reported in 2010 that while Israel has in the past allowed Palestinian police forces to carry out limited operations in Area C, these have mostly been for purposes of fighting Hamas, and rarely to combat ordinary crime.

The ICC report recommended that Israel add "parts of Area C to the PSF's (Palestinian security forces') operational area, in particular in the Jenin Governorate," and also "facilitate increased Palestinian crime-fighting efforts in Area C."

The recent spate of arrests suggests that Israel has been allowing increased Palestinian police activity in Area C, which for years has harbored Palestinian criminals, including collaborators with Israel, the ICC report said.

The arrests also come shortly after Palestinian police were permitted to open police stations in the Jerusalem-district villages of al-Ram, Biddu and Abu Dis earlier this month.

The villages are in land classified as Area B, where the PA is also required to coordinate security efforts with Israel.

Police spokesman Irziqat said that the stations were in keeping with past agreements with Israel, although no explanation was given as to why it was being carried out now.
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