Khaled Abu Toameh writes: Until recently, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank used to arrest Palestinians who criticized its leaders, especially Mahmoud Abbas.
But now the Palestinian Authority has resumed using thugs to break the bones of its critics.
It is an easy and quick way to deal with the critics and deter others from speaking out against Palestinian Authority leaders.
The thugs are often members of Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction. However, they do not hold any official position in the Palestinian Authority; they do not belong to Palestinian Authority security forces or any government-related agency in the West Bank.
This allows the Palestinian Authority to distance itself from the thugs each time they perpetrate a crime.
But the thugs, who are referred to by Palestinians as “Shabbiha,” are known to act on instructions from top Palestinian Authority leaders. [Continue reading…]