Palestinian Security Official: Hezbollah Caught In West Bank Recruitment Efforts

Supporters wave the flag of Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah as they watch the movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah give a televised speech from an undisclosed location during a rally held in the southern suburbs of Beirut on February 16, 2016, to mark the anniversary of the Israeli killings of Lebanese Hezbollah …

Hezbollah has continued its recruitment efforts in the West Bank, a Palestinian security official told Breitbart Jerusalem in the wake of a massive raid early on Friday in a restive refugee camp near Nablus.

The official reason for the raid on the camp of Balata was to collect illegal weapons and bring their possessors to justice, but the official said the raid was also meant to foil the establishment of a Hezbollah chapter in the camp.

PA troops were fired upon and ended up retreating from the camp, but the official said similar operations would be carried out immediately.

“We will not allow any foreign actor, be it Hezbollah or Hamas, to destabilize the West Bank,” he said. “We will not allow armed anarchy to rule the streets of the West Bank again.”

The official said the PA shared intelligence with Israel under the assumption that local forces would carry out the raids.

We keep the Israelis up to date so that they wouldn’t act. We don’t think that every phone call from a Hezbollah operative should result in protracted detention in an Israeli jail – what we do is find ways to persuade them to discontinue the communication. Of course, if there’s a clear and present danger of terrorist activity we make arrests, but the best strategy is to explain to these people Hezbollah’s motives and the price they may pay if Israel seizes them, and the outcry that would occur if Israel, and certainly we, arrest them.

He added that dozens of young Palestinians are targeted and financially lured by Hezbollah, “and we act in different ways to crush that infrastructure, but our point of departure is that under no circumstances will Hezbollah stop its recruitment efforts to carry out terror attacks.”

According to the official, Hezbollah has so far refrained from spreading Shi’a theology in the West Bank. “So far, the efforts have been limited to terrorist activity, which we monitor.”