'Abbas Terror Crackdown Meant to Assist Left'

Defense officials reportedly think the PA is arresting Hamas men to foil terror attacks that would help right wing at the polls Tuesday.

Gil Ronen ,

Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists
Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists
Wagdi Ashtiyeh/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) under Mahmoud Abbas has been cracking down on Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria in recent days, in order to foil terror attacks that would encourage Israelis to vote for the right wing, according to Maariv.

Abbas – also known as Abu Mazen – launched a large-scale campaign of arrests against Hamas Monday night, and dozens of terrorists who intended to carry out attacks in the coming days were arrested, the website reports. It cites a security source as saying that “we can see, on the ground, the great pressure that is being placed on Abu Mazen's men, in order to calm the [Palestinian] street after a long period of incitement.”

While the incitement continues, the source said, it is clear that there is also an effort to thwart terror attacks.

The source said that under any other circumstances, Israel's freeze of tax and customs funds it levies for the PA would have led to a confrontation with the PA. While the source was careful to avoid a statement with political overtones, Maariv reported that the assessment in Israel's security establishment is that with elections near, the PA is currently pinning its hopes on a political upheaval in Israel, and hoping the funds will be thawed after the elections.