Deliberate PA Security Lapses

This section lists only some incidents that were reported by the media. Many incidents are known only to the security forces and remain unknown to journalists.

Terrorists Escaped from PA Prison

On 18 March 2008, the PA reported that terrorists had escaped from one of its jails in Hevron. This was not the first time such a thing had happened in a prison run by the PA (albeit in most of the world, escaping from prison is considered to be quite difficult). On this occasion, the escaped terrorists were those who had murdered Achikam Amichai and David Rubin in December 2007.

In the past, the PA had habitually reported that terrorists had escaped from prison when in point of fact it had released them.

Wanted Terrorists Escaped from PA Prison in Shechem (Nablus)

A group of terrorists escaped from a PA prison in Shechem (Nablus) on 21 February 2008. The prisoners who escaped were operatives of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades with blood on their hands. It was suspected that they had been helped to escape by PA policemen working at the prison. After escaping they announced that they would not return to the prison, although the group had turned itself in and agreed to be imprisoned only a month-and-a-half previously.

In an interview, the prisoners said that they had decided to leave prison as a group because the management of the prison was not fulfilling the deal that they had reached when the terrorists had turned themselves in.

ISA: PA Refused to Turn in Fugitives Hiding in Its Facilities

The ISA wrote in its 2007 annual review:

In recent years, wanted Tanzim members from Ramallah and nearby villages used PA buildings throughout the city, including the Mukata compound [Palestinian Authority headquarters] and military intelligence headquarters in other places, as a place to hide from Israeli security forces and as a base from which to carry out terrorist attacks.

Over the past year, a number of messages have been delivered to the heads of the Palestinian Authority regarding the presence of wanted persons at these locations, but to no avail.

PA Failed to Turn over to IDF Terrorists Who Turned Themselves In

Two terrorists who had murdered Achikam Amichai and David Rubin in the Hevron area turned themselves in to PA inteligence on the day they committed the attack, 27 December 2007, in order to avoid being arrested by the IDF.

The PA concealed the fact that they had turned themselves in from the ISA, admitting this only when the ISA made the discovery on its own and contacted the PA.

Nevertheless, the PA did not extradict the terrorists, instead leaving them in a PA prison from which they soon “escaped.”

PA Police in Shechem (Nablus) Refused to Confiscate Terrorists’ Weapons

The PA police forces who entered and spread out in Shechem at the beginning of November 2007 gave notice that they would not confiscate the weapons of the wanted terrorists located in the city. This was announced by Mayor Jamal Muheisen of Shechem via PA newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida.

This was in spite of Shechem’s role as the preeminent hub of terrorism in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and that Israeli forces in the city had been foiling attempts by terrorists in the city to commit terrorist attacks elsewhere, including a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that was averted when the explosive belt prepared for the purpose was discovered the previous Yom Kippur.

PA Released Terrorists Who Confessed Intent to Murder PM Ehud Olmert

The members of a terrorist cell intending to assassinate Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his visit to Jericho planned for June 2007 were arrested by the PA after the IDF demanded it take them into custody. Shortly thereafter, the PA released the terrorists from prison, despite their confession that they had intended to assassinate Olmert.

This is part of a wider pattern in which the PA permits terrorists imprisoned in its jails to go free.

Faceoff Between PA Police and IDF Troops

On 5 April 2005, in an apparent attempt to create friction, PA policemen stationed themselves in Hashoter Square in Hevron, adjacent to the local Jewish quarter.

The areas where PA police are permitted to patrol are governed by an agreement between the IDF and the PA, which forbids PA police to deploy in the vicinity of Jewish neighborhoods.

IDF troops attempted to distance the police, in accordance with an order they were given. When the police refused to leave, the soldiers had to arrest them.

Terrorism Continued; PA Declined to Intervene

Senior IDF sources reported an absolute lack of effort on the part of the PA to prevent acts of terrorism. The PA did not apprehend terrorists even after being given their names by Israeli security bodies. Terrorist organizations’ production of Qassam rockets and mortar bombs continued without any attempt by the PA security forces to interfere.