PA police officer
PA police officerIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority armed forces are engaged in a crackdown on “chaos” in the Jenin region. Nearly 100 people have been arrested, among them PA teens ages 14-15, the Bethlehem-based Maan news reports.

PA officials in the Jenin region said the crackdown would continue.

“Some of those directly responsible for the chaos and attacks and burning of properties in Jenin remain at large,” Jenin governor Talal Dweikat was quoted as saying.

The teenagers arrested were actively involved in attacks on PA buildings, Dweikat said. Some have confessed to shooting on PA facilities.

He denied that Hamas or other organized terrorist groups were behind the uprising targeting the Fatah-led PA, but accused Hamas of anti-PA incitement that encouraged the attacks.

PA officials have also blamed riots in the Jenin area on Israel. Riots began when Israeli forces shot and killed a wanted terrorist during a firefight in September, they claim.

Reports of the PA’s arrest of the wanted teens came on the same day that the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs released a report criticizing Israel for holding hundreds of PA Arab “children” in prison for terrorist offenses. As of early 2013, there were 233 PA residents under age 18 being held in Israeli prisons; 202 were over age 16.

While Israel has been harshly condemned by the PA and the UN for alleged mistreatment of PA teen prisoners, there is a known phenomenon of PA youth deliberately getting arrested by Israeli soldiers to avoid bad home situations, including forced underage marriage and physical abuse.