The Palestinian Authority's security cooperation with Israel is being pushed to the brink after the recent attack by an off-duty Palestinian staff sergeant who shot and wounded three Israeli soldiers, analysts say.The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fatah) also praised the attack, and used the same words that Hamas and Islamic Jihad used to describe it - as a "natural reaction" to occupation.
The Sunday morning attack, which took place at a Ramallah-area checkpoint, was the most recent to be carried out against Israeli forces. The attacker was identified as Amjad Sukkari, 34, from Jamaain village in the northern Nablus district. He was shot dead at the scene.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Nablus on Monday for Sukkari’s funeral after Israeli forces, in what was arguably a surprise move, released his body just a few hours after the shooting.
Two of Sukkari’s brothers, both Palestinian police officers, carried the casket from the Nablus-area hospital to the city’s cemetery as crowds waved flags and chanted “martyr”.
While some PA officials were present at the procession, and some mourners were seen waving Fatah flags, the PA officials have stayed mute on the matter. Several PA offices, including the PA’s security spokesperson Adnan Dmiri, all declined MEE’s repeated requests for comment.
In stark contrast, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have both come out in support of Sukkari, publically endorsing his actions and calling them a natural reaction of occupation.
“This attack showcases the rejection of security coordination with the occupation, even among members of the PA security forces,” Hamas movement's spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said on Sunday.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – a left faction of the PLO – dubbed the attack a “heroic operation,” and called for the end of PA security coordination with Israel, saying the attack by a PA police officer was “a slap in the face of security coordination with the occupation”.
The PA chose to honour him with a military funeral, a move that was in question until a few hours before the burial.
According to Islamic rites, a body should be buried on the day of death before sunset, but the funeral was delayed in order to wait and see if the PA would come through with the official burial, his brother told MEE.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon used very similar terminology to describe Palestinian terror attacks, saying that it is "human nature to react to occupation."
While Ban didn't create that terminology - terror groups have been calling their attacks "natural reactions" to Israel for years - so far in this uprising the reason for the attacks in Arabic have been either the Al Aqsa Mosque or revenge for other people killed while trying to kill Jews. It seems that when terror groups are using this terminology today, they are relying on the idea that Ban Ki Moon has legitimized "natural reaction to occupation" as now a UN-sanctioned reason to attack Jews.
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