Middle East Monitor / September 1, 2023
If the Palestinian Authority is concerned about anti-colonial resistance, it is certainly acting in a way that will bring about its political downfall. This week, the PA’s security services killed Palestinian Abdul Qader Zaqdah at the Tulkarem Refugee Camp, merely for preventing the security services from removing barriers enacted against the Israeli Occupation Forces’ incursions.
According to the PA’s security services spokesman, Talal Dweikat, the intervention happened after complaints about the barricades from residents. Dweikat did not place culpability upon the security services for Zaqdah’s killing, but members of the Tulkarem Brigade stated that the PA’s security services fired live ammunition at the camp’s residents.
While, within diplomatic circles, the PA calls for intervention against Israeli brutality, it kills Palestinians with complete impunity just as Israel does. The more the PA loses political control, the more it seeks opportunities to oppress Palestinians to the point of occasional annihilation.
“The security services removed the barricades that were placed to block the movement of the Occupation Forces,” the Tulkarem Brigade explained . “We will not remain silent over this act that helps the occupation, and we will not tolerate anyone who committed this bloody violation.”
The statement is a warning for the PA in several ways. Primarily, the PA should take heed that its tactics will ultimately place it on the same plane as Israel – colonial collaboration and colonial violence should both be accounted for. If the PA had a shard of attachment to Palestine, it could also take the warning as a sign that its politics should change and the first step would be to allow Palestinians a say in new governance, thus ending its illegitimate rule.
Zaqdah’s killing prompted statements from Hamas, which demanded punishment for targeting Palestinians involved in anti-colonial resistance. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade was reported to have declared, “The Palestinian Authority and its security apparatus are expressly forbidden from entering the Tulkarem Camp and will be dealt with by bullets as the Occupation Forces are treated.” Such a statement is indicative of how the Palestinian people are swiftly shifting to the perception of the PA as their enemy. Its mandate has long expired, and its legacy is one of overt collaboration with Israel, to the point that murdering Palestinian civilians occasionally is how the PA aims to establish control.
The recent killing indicates that the PA is amenable to the option of making the camps easier to target, thus rendering displaced Palestinians more vulnerable to attacks by Israel and the PA’s security services. The PA has a track record in begging for protection where it knows none will be forthcoming while, at the same time, offering no refuge for Palestinians. If the PA was serious about Palestinian political independence, it would ensure the camps are protected with more than barricades that are no match for Israel’s military might. The recent bombardment of Jenin Refugee Camp is indicative of what might befall Palestinians for altering the status quo. Zaqdah’s killing by the PA’s security services only portrays that the PA is only too happy to let Palestinians become collateral damage in this latest phase of its pathetic and desperate political survival.
Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America