In a rare interview, Majed Faraj, director of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) General Intelligence Service highlighted the importance of security cooperation with Israel and said that his forces have prevented 200 terror attacks against Israelis since the current wave of violence began in October.
The US-based Defense News interviewed Faraj, saying that he “views security coordination [with Israel] as a bridge that can sustain a decent atmosphere until the politicians go back to serious talks.” Faraj is quoted saying, “I will continue fighting to keep this bridge against radicalization and violence that should lead us to our independence.” As part of this effort, Faraj claimed that PA security and intelligence forces have prevented 200 attacks against Israelis, confiscated weapons and arrested about 100 Palestinians since October. The near-daily attacks by Palestinians on Israelis during this period have left at least 27 Israelis dead.
It was reported several weeks ago that Israeli ministers were discussing the possible collapse of the PA and its implications. However, Faraj insisted that, “Until today, we [the PA] really are a stable institution. We will continue to do our work.” In his assessment, the attacks being carried out by Palestinians are mainly by individuals, not coordinated groups. However, he warned that “we really are at a crossroads” and that Palestinian public patience over Israel’s West Bank presence is wearing thin.
The alternative to stable PA rule, said Faraj “is anarchy, violence and terrorism.” As a result, he explained, “We, together with our counterparts in the Israeli security establishment, with the Americans and others, are all trying to prevent that collapse [of the PA].” One consequence of the PA’s dissolution, warned Faraj, would be the growth of ISIS. He said, “They’re already in Iraq, Syria, Sinai, Lebanon and Jordan, but Ramallah, Amman and Tel Aviv must remain immune from them.”
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned Faraj’s admission of cooperation with Israel, saying it constitutes the “moral decline of the Palestinian Authority’s security establishment