Amjad Sakri, the assailant who shot and wounded three Israel Defense Forces soldiers in an attack on a checkpoint north of Ramallah on Sunday morning, is the second member of the Palestinian Authority security services to commit an attack since the current wave of violence began in October. He was preceded by a member of the PA’s General Intelligence Service – a relative of senior PA official Saeb Erekat – who opened fire on soldiers manning a checkpoint south of Ramallah about two months ago. In both cases, soldiers killed the men.
Both assailants served in jobs that required them to be vetted by the PA intelligence services (Sakri was the driver and bodyguard of the PA’s chief prosecutor). There have also been other cases in recent months in which Israel arrested PA employees on suspicion of helping to plan attacks.
It’s still not certain that a new trend is emerging, although the assailant’s identity is likely to serve as fodder for Israeli public diplomacy in its attacks on the PA and its demands that PA President Mahmoud Abbas stop the terror. In practice, all the relevant Israeli defense agencies – the defense minister, senior IDF officers, the Shin Bet security service and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – constantly stress the need to preserve the excellent security coordination with the PA and the efforts the PA security services have made in recent weeks, especially against Hamas terrorist cells in the West Bank.