Israel does not fear a major terror escalation in the West Bank with the transfer of the Hilles clan to Jericho, head of the Civil Administration Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Monday. "The control of the IDF and security forces in Jericho is absolute, and anyone who deviates from normative behavior and engages in criminal activity or terror will be removed from there quickly," Mordechai said.
Eighty-seven members of the heavily-armed Gaza-based Hilles clan, allied with Fatah, were put on two buses in Beersheba on Monday afternoon and transported to Jericho. The Palestinian Authority had set up a temporary residence for them near the Palestinian National Security headquarters, PA officials said.
Yeah well, it turns out Palestinians aren’t so happy either with the relocation of the Hilles clan in Jericho.
Some residents of Jericho expressed fear that the presence of the Hilles clan members in their city would have a negative impact on tourism and increase the rate of crime. They pointed out that in recent months there had been an upsurge in the number of tourists visiting Jericho, especially Israeli Arab citizens who come to spend the weekend at the Jericho Resort Town and the Intercontinental Hotel.It is not like I had a burning desire to visit Jericho but I do sympathize with the shopkeepers.
"Why didn't Abu Mazen [Abbas] take them to Ramallah?" asked a shopkeeper in the center of the city. "Why do they always send these guys to our city?" A restaurant owner noted that in the past he and some of his colleagues had been exposed to threats and extortion by Fatah gangsters who were "exiled" to Jericho by Israel and the PA. "May God help us," he commented upon learning that the Hilles men were about to be transferred to Jericho. "Many Fatah gunmen who were sent to Jericho over the past few years gave us a very hard time. I believe that the presence of the Hilles people here wills scare away many tourists."