Palestinian Authority slammed for sterilising Israeli patrol vehicle

Palestinian Authority slammed for sterilising Israeli patrol vehicle
A volunteer with the Palestinian Authority sprayed an Israeli van bound with disinfectant, sparking online outrage. Fatah defended the move, drawing further criticisms.
2 min read
09 April, 2020
Palestinian ministry of health sprayed disinfectant on workers returning from Israel [AFP]

The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority was slammed by Palestinians on Thursday, after a video showed volunteers of the party's committee spraying an Israeli security van used to transport detainees with steriliser, over coronavirus fears.

The Israeli van was on its way to the West Bank when the incident occured, Palestinian media reports said.

According to the reports, Fatah defended the move, saying the measure was put in place over fears of the virus transmitting to local detainees. 

"Our youth are accustomed to going up to the occupation patrols and confronting them," the report quoted the group as saying. "This pushed an official in charge to serilise the vehicle, over fears that infection would pass to our people"

The group reportedly thanked the representative for his efforts.

The clarifying statement attracted further scorn by Palestinians. One Twitter user said the PA was "normalising the occupation's detainment" of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Another user defended the PA, saying the measure was a last resort, due to the party's helplessness in the face of the Israeli occupation.

"I stand by anyone who says security coordinations [with Israel] are treacherous, and that we should not allow the arrest of [Palestinians]," the tweet said. 

"But in this situation, they were incapable of denying entry to the Israeli patrol. There was nothing for them to do but steralise," the user explained.

Read also: Tortured by the Palestinian Authority: One woman's fight for justice

Fatah's rival Palestinian political faction, Hamas, published a cartoon on its news site - Palestine Forum for Dialogue - criticising the move. 

The two political factions are bitterly divided, with the PA controlling the West Bank, while Hamas controls Gaza.

In 2018, the PA's Palestinian police detained the head of the West Bank's Hebron police force, after a photo circulated showing the security official helping Israeli forces change their vehicle's tire.

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