In Tulkarem the other day, an innocent Palestinian was killed, whether by the Palestinian Authority’s security force or by an as-yet unidentified terror group is still not known. It happened this way.
In order to make it more difficult and dangerous for the IDF to enter the Tulkarem camp, Palestinian terrorists sowed the roads with IEDs, including those leading to, and just outside, a school. They also erected barriers to slow down Israeli military vehicles. Both the IEDs and the road barriers were a danger to civilians, especially to schoolchildren who had to use those same IED-lined roads to get to school. The Palestinian Authority security services began to locate and remove the IED’s to protect the lives of Palestinian schoolchildren. But those Palestinians responsible for planting the IEDs and the barriers — which terror group they belonged to is still unclear — then fired on members of the PA’s security services who were attempting to pull down the barriers and to clear the roads in the area of IEDs. In the exchange of gunfire, a Palestinian bystander was shot and killed. More on this clash between the PA’s security services and the terrorists in Tulkarem can be found here: “Palestinian killed in rare clash between gunmen and PA security forces,” by Emanuel Fabian, Times of Israel, August 30, 2023:
A Palestinian man was shot dead during rare clashes between gunmen and members of the Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Wednesday.
The clashes were sparked after PA security forces entered Tulkarem to remove barricades set up by gunmen in an adjacent refugee camp, aimed at impeding Israel Defense Force troops who carry out regular arrest raids.
Over the past year, Palestinian terror groups have asserted control of various refugee camps across the West Bank, setting up roadblocks and planting roadside bombs to prevent Israeli forces from entering.
The Reuters news agency reported that the PA said residents had complained that the barricades endangered passersby and a nearby school.
Palestinian media said 25-year-old Abdel Qader Zakdah was fatally shot and several others were wounded during the clashes that ensued in the Tulkarem Camp….
Zakdah appears to have been only an innocent passerby, in the wrong place at the wrong time. No terror group has claimed him, nor have the security services of the PA.
Reuters cited Talal Dweikat, a spokesperson for PA security services, as saying that after the forces removed the obstacles from the Tulkarem camp, local gunmen opened fire at a building housing the Tulkarem governate, “prompting security forces to intervene, taking necessary measures to restore order.”
Palestinian media outlets circulated a video of a group of gunmen — unmasked, somewhat unusually — accusing the PA of killing Zakdah.
The PA may well have killed Zakdah, but if it did, it was as unintentional as the IDF’s killing of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The PA now finds itself in the awkward position of echoing the IDF, when the latter explained that in the fog of war, and in the middle of a firefight, it had unintentionally shot at and killed the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh just outside the Jenin camp. Should it be shown that the PA inadvertently killed Zakdah, its explanation for killing Zakdah, echoing that of the IDF, will be attacked by the terror groups that will quickly seize on the similarity to accuse the PA of “parroting” the “Zionist” excuse for “murdering the martyr Shireen Abu Akleh.”
“We will not keep silent at this act, which aids the occupation forces in arresting and chasing the youths and those [on Israel’s] wanted list,” one of the gunmen said, according to Reuters.
The Hamas terror group also denounced the killing, saying in a statement that it was “a serious crime against security and civil peace in the West Bank.”…
But the Palestinian civilians in Tulkarem breached a sigh of relief when the PA removed the IEDs and the road barriers. They did not want their children’s lives endangered.
The PA has by mistake shot and killed Palestinian passersby before. In September 2022, PA security forces killed a Palestinian bystander during clashes with protesters in Nablus, following the arrest of two members of Hamas, allegedly at Israel’s request. At the time there was no coverage of the incident in the Western media, which doesn’t want to make the PA look bad. Hamas, of course, has killed far more innocent Palestinians than the PA, or than Israel. Many Hamas rockets launched at Israel from Gaza have fallen short, and landed in Gaza, killing dozens of Palestinians, including many children. These deaths, too, received little media coverage at the time — and none since.
Palestinian parents quite sensibly will not approve of terror groups’ attempts to hamper the IDF’s movements, if in so doing, the terrorists also endanger the lives of their children. This is one public battle with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad where the PA has the upper hand. And as meretricious as the PA is, it is still much less dangerous, in Israel’s view, than Hamas, the PIJ, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.