Palestinian Security Outfits Breaking up: Hamas & ISIS Ready to Pick up the Pieces

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to be pinned down on an heir is causing deep consternation in Ramallah, as well as Washington, Jerusalem and Amman. It is seen as a recipe for the PA’s ultimate demise and the breakup of its security machine into rival radical fragments.
The ailing octogenarian, who has fended off reelection for seven years, could pop off at any moment.
Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) admits that an order of succession needs to be determined.
But is he referring to an eight-to-ten member council that will take over upon his death? Or is he talking about a triumvirate of two politicians and a general from the security or the intelligence services?
DEBKA Weekly’s sources report that no one in Ramallah takes his vague notions seriously.
The term “order of succession” used in reference to the Saudi royal family is hardly applicable to the Palestinian leadership which is not built around a single royal family. Even in Riyadh, it is a chronic source of strife.
Before Abbas is gone, whether due to deteriorating health or sudden death, the Palestinian Authority is undergoing four processes seen by US and Middle East sources as leading inexorably to its meltdown.
1. The “Jerusalem Intifada” waged since last September against Israel is carried out by youngsters who are unassociated with or controlled by Palestinian establishment organizations. These terrorists spring up from the street under the influence of fiery social networks. Hamas is using the networks to fan the flames of violence.
2. This outbreak of knifing, shooting and other attacks caught the Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian security services and intelligence unawares. Control previously exerted over the Palestinian street by those agencies has therefore slipped out of their hands, leaving the Palestinian Authority cut off from events.
3. The Palestinian Authority, having led the economy into calamitous straits, has stopped salaries to its office-holders and even worse, to the approximately 35,000 members of three security services:
a) The Palestinian National Security Forces, consisting of nine divisions with about 4,500 troops.
b) The Presidential Guard, a division independent of the National Security Forces, with about 1,000 soldiers.
c). The Palestinian Police and 15 other security-related bodies including the riot police, the Palestinian navy and military bodies, which exist only on paper, yet list a total of 25,000 wage-earners.
d) Various intelligence services, most importantly the Palestinian General Intelligence Service headed by Gen. Majed Faraj, who is seen as the only levelheaded member of the Palestinian leadership.
In other words, all 35,000 members of the security services, the props that keep Abu Mazen in power and the Palestinian Authority afloat, are getting shrunken pay checks at best, or waiting for wages in deep arrears.
To make up for the loss of income, armed Palestinian personnel are looking outside for supplements, which are to be found either by selling their weapons or renting them out for terrorist action.
Hamas and the Islamic State are lurking ready to exploit this highly dodgy situation.
Both have deep enough pockets to buy both the guns and the services of Palestinian security personnel. Hamas and ISIS are already collaborating in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. The two radical Islamic terrorist organizations would have no qualms about joining forces for operations in the West Bank.
Once these two groups get their claws into the Palestinian security and intelligence services, their breakup is only a matter of time, to be followed by the PA’s collapse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Font Resize
Contrast