At least 600 members of various Palestinian Authority security services have been killed since the beginning of the intifada more than four years ago, most of them while participating in violence against Israel, a senior PA security official revealed Sunday.
The official told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of PA policemen and security agents had also been arrested by the IDF during the same period for their involvement, both directly and indirectly, in armed attacks against Israel.
According to the official, most of the security personnel killed by the IDF had joined various armed militias in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shortly after the violence erupted in September 2000. He said, however, that many others were killed in Israeli raids on PA security installations or during clashes with gunmen and were not involved with any militia.
The majority of the policemen chose to join Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, while only a few preferred Hamas and Islamic Jihad militias, he added.
"Most of these men doubled as security officers and members of armed groups," the official admitted. "The fact that they had received paramilitary training as policemen was an asset because they were able to implement the tactics they learned in the fighting with the Israeli army."
Many PA policemen and security agents were trained by Egyptian, Jordanian and American security experts; others had attended military academies in former Eastern Bloc countries and the former Soviet Union before and after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
The policemen who also "moonlighted" as militiamen came mainly from the General Intelligence Force, the Preventative Security Service and the National Security Force.
The official said the best example was that of Youssef Kabaha, nicknamed Abu Jandal, who served as the commander of the armed militias in the Jenin refugee camp during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002.
Abu Jandal, a lieutenant-general with the National Security Force in the West Bank, played a major role in organizing the gunmen who fought against the IDF in the camp. He was killed during the clashes.
Abu Jandal's friends said that although he was on the PA's payroll, he also served as commander of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad in the Jenin refugee camp.
Another famous case is that of Jihad al-Amarin, founder of the "suicide division" in the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. Amarin, from the Zaitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, was a senior officer with the National Security Force.
He was killed in an IAF missile attack on his car in July 2002. His nephew, Wael al-Nammara, 33, who was also killed in the attack, was, in addition to his membership in the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a senior officer with the Preventative Security Service.
The Preventative Security Service in the Gaza Strip has also been boasting that two of its officers were involved in attacks on the IDF over the past four years.
In the first case, Baha Abu al-Said, who was also a member of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, led a group of gunmen that infiltrated an IDF outpost, killing three soldiers.
His colleague in the same security force, Yasser Khatib, was the commander of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Rafah before he was killed by the IDF last year. Khatib was accused of carrying out several attacks on IDF bases and settlements.
Khaled Shawish, one of the commanders of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank who spent the last three years hiding in the Mukata "presidential" compound in Ramallah, was also a senior officer with the National Security Force.
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