Official: Palestinian Authority Foiled Large-Scale Jerusalem Terror Attack

PLO leadership abbas

TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority’s security services foiled a large-scale terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Friday, a Palestinian security official told Breitbart Jerusalem.

The attack was to be carried out against Israelis while hundreds of thousands of Muslims gathered in the city to mark Laylat Alqader, the 27th night of Ramadan, on which Allah allegedly handed over the Quran to Mohammed.

The official said that the would-be perpetrator, a young Palestinian from the Nablus area who was recruited by the Hamas leadership in Gaza, was arrested.

The official also emphasized that Hamas has made significant efforts before to recruit young Palestinians in the West Bank, especially former Fatah loyalists. Equally, he said, Hamas have been trying to purchase weapons from Fatah activists, because they have more access to them, by virtue of working for the PA security, or because they under less stringent surveillance.

Even though Hamas has yet to take responsibility, the first successful recruitment of Fatah activists and arms was in October last year, when an Israeli couple were killed in a shooting near the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the official said.

A few days after the attack, Israel announced that a Hamas cell was arrested in connection to the carnage.

The Palestinian official said the detainees were Fatah members who carried out the attack on Hamas’ behalf.

He said that Hamas is following closely the Palestinian Authority’s slow decomposition, especially in central areas like Nablus, and that the Islamist group is attempting to exploit their loss of control to step up hostilities.

Hamas, just like everybody else, saw hundreds of gunmen take over the streets during the funeral of two Palestinian security officers who were killed while trying to break up a scuffle last Thursday, he said.

The gunmen were exceptionally defiant, and took to the streets bare-faced while shooting in the air. The official said this kind of behavior was unheard of up until recently, but in recent months, marred by corruption scandals, the PA’s ability to impose order has been significantly undermined.

The official said that given the increasing prospects of a popular revolt against the PA and President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian officials have began to hire private gunmen to protect them and their interests, and to prepare for an impending succession struggle at the top.