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Palestinian National Authority takes steps to stop Israel’s move to recruit ‘collaborators’

Practice of summoning Palestinians dealing with Israeli intelligence aimed at ‘foiling recruitment’

Gulf News

Ramallah: The Palestinian security apparatus has instructed those summoned or interviewed by Israeli intelligence to visit them both before and immediately after their interviews with the Israeli intelligence officers.

Israeli security officers summon Palestinians for interviews on the checkpoints, and crossings without coordination with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

Palestinians who remain in the PNA-controlled Area A and who rarely move between cities in the West Bank and who do not work inside Israel are usually handed official written orders to show up in Israeli stations to meet Israeli intelligence officers.

Israeli forces often raid the Palestinian cities to hand those orders to the identified Palestinian individuals.

On Sunday morning, a large number of Israeli forces raided the town of Yatta near Hebron and handed 11 Palestinians official orders to report to the Israeli Atzion station to meet Israeli intelligence officers.

Speaking to Gulf News, a senior Palestinian security officer said Palestinians summoned or interviewed by Israeli intelligence should immediately report to the Palestinian Intelligence or Preventive Security.

“We should be aware of the details of the interviews,” said the officer. “Some Palestinians voluntarily approach their security apparatus reporting their interviews with the Israeli intelligence and that would be considered the ideal attitude.

“We recommend that those summoned by the Israeli intelligence approach Palestinian security before they go for interviews with Israeli intelligence,” he said.

During a short visit to the Palestinian security premises,the summoned Palestinians are given the necessary training on the best methods and tactics to handle Israeli intelligence and the way to respond to their questions. “It is in the interests of the summoned individuals to first report to a Palestinian security premises,” he said.

The officer said the Israeli military and security service use different tactics in calling Palestinians for interviews especially on the crossings and checkpoints. “The Israelis also have a problem with those who stay in Area A and rarely exit the zone,” he said.

He argued that the Israelis do not coordinate with the Palestinian security apparatus on summoning Palestinians, considering it an Israeli security issue which should not be addressed by the Palestinian security apparatus. “Israel should be aware that the issue can not and will not be addressed by the Palestinian side,” he said.

“I can assure that every interview with Israeli intelligence is followed by an interview with Palestinian security,” he said.

“Using this technique, the Palestinian security apparatus have foiled several Israeli attempts to recruit naïve Palestinians as collaborators,” said the officer. He added that the Israelis have provided their collaborators with special mobile phones to receive calls from their handlers.

“Once such interviews with the Israeli intelligence are reported to the Palestinian security apparatus, the Israeli attempts are foiled,” he said.

“In several occasions, our security officers have answered the Israeli officers on the phones informing them about the failure of their attempts,” he said.

The officer said that those who approach the Palestinian security apparatus enjoy ultimate protection from the security apparatus and the Israelis can never harm them.