Thursday, September 28, 2017

28-Sep-17: Now that the Palestinian Arabs are embraced by Interpol...

October 2016: Jibril Rajoub is hosted by the chief of the
Palestinian police [Image Source]
Interpol voted this week to admit the Palestinian Authority civil police as a full member in what Al Jazeera calls "a new victory in its drive for international representation despite strong Israeli opposition".

This raises some pretty deep concerns here in Israel where the assumedly-secure sharing of intelligence on terrorism is viewed as a life-and-death matter by ordinary folk.

The current head of the PA police is modestly referred to in formal documents and press releases as "His Excellency Major General Hazim Attallah". He was appointed to the role in March 2008, promoting a US official to submit this brief backgrounder up the reporting chain from where it eventually found its way into Wikileaks.

Some highlights [italics mean direct quotes]:
  • Attallah previously served as "the military secretary and a security advisor in the Office of the President" of the PA. 
  • He became "a security advisor to President Abbas in 2005 and military secretary to PM Salam Fayyad in September 2007."
  • A "savvy internal operator who has managed to effectively navigate between PM Salam Fayyad and President Abbas and make himself necessary to both... [An] unusual choice for police chief--he spent most of his security time in the Preventive Security Organization (PSO) and his recent assignments have been advisory/political, not management."
  • "The PA police headquarters is full of senior figures who will, at least initially, view Attallah as a political interloper." 
  • "Born in 1959 in Bayt Surik (near Jerusalem)..." That's an interesting note: it's the small village from where the Palestinian Arab shooter who murdered three Israelis at Har Adar two days ago ["26-Sep-17: At Har Adar's entrance, an Arab-on-Israeli shooter with problems and a solution"] came. 
  • "Attended Bulgaria's military academy from 1980 to 1984... the son of Husni Muhammad Attallah ("Abu Za'im"), a former head of Fatah military intelligence and senior PLO official until a high-profile break with Arafat in 1986..." 
August 2017: His Excellency visits Interpol [Image Source]
From other sources:
Attallah, who has been busy traveling in Europe during these last few weeks, presumably to help ensure backing for the PA's Interpol strategy, will be going to Hamas-controlled Gaza this coming Monday "to discuss security matters with Hamas" [Jerusalem Post yesterday]. He has not been there since the Islamists seized control in 2007's blood-soaked violence. 

With Interpol having now opened its arms to Attallah and the Palestinian police, we're thinking - like commentators who frequently ask when speaking of events in our area - what could possibly go wrong.

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