Palestine Free of IS Cells, Says PA

A spokesman of the Palestinian Authority’s security services insisted Monday that Palestine is free from any cells affiliated to the Islamic State militant group.

Adnan Dameiri said in a news conference in Ramallah that Israel had “baselessly” suggested ISIS-affiliated groups were in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“We are obviously adamant not to have ISIS or umbrellas for them in Palestine. Those who have been trying to create the ISIS phenomenon are Israel and Hamas given that the Muslim Brotherhood movement is the incubator which created al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Nusra Front and other Jihadist and Takfiri organizations,” he said.

Dameiri added that the Palestinian people succeeded to protect themselves from the turmoil in the rest of the region. “The people’s awareness was the immunity and antibiotic against deferring to religious extremism, ISIS and infighting.”

The PA security services, added the spokesman, have interrogated several suspects over affiliation to ISIS, but they were all set free after they proved their innocence.

Asked about budget allocated to security services, which according to a recent report from the Ministry of Finance amounts to about 28 percent of the general PA budget, Dameiri that the budget in the report included monthly salaries of all security officers.

In civil institutions, he explained, the announced budget does not include monthly salaries of employees, “and for that reason the budget allocated to security services seems huge.”

Furthermore, Dameiri insisted that Palestine was the only Arab state which publishes its budget online.

The number of PA security service personnel is around 64,000 of whom 34,000 are Gaza-based and 30,000 are based in the West Bank, according to Dameiri.

Speaking of the ongoing security crackdown in Nablus district in the northern West Bank, Dameiri said that it would continue until all outlaws and fugitives are arrested.

So far, he said, 21 suspects have been arrested and will have fair trials in Palestinian courts.

“The Israeli occupation is interested in creating chaos in Palestine … to tell the world that the Palestinians do not deserve to have a state. Thus, tranquility and stability will embarrass the Israeli occupation.”

Dameiri also said that the crackdown was against individuals rather than areas.

“For example, we respect Balata refugee camp for the sacrifices of its martyrs, injured people, prisoners and leaders and we are proud of them, but this doesn’t mean that in the camp and other camps, cities, villages and Bedouin dwellings there are some people who seek to disseminate anarchy and security chaos which we will never allow.”

Dameiri added that the only source for illegal weapons in Palestine is the black market whose source is the Israeli occupation.

“Who is funding those gunmen who spend huge amounts of money on bullets they fire at the Palestinian security officers or into the air,” Dameiri said.

He claimed that in one area, which he didn’t name, 12,000 gunshots were fired in one day.

(Ma’an –

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