Fatah Official Arrested After He Criticizes PA Security Officials in Leaked Audio Recording
Accusations of rampant corruption and widespread mismanagement in the PA is not new, but it is significant that it is coming from a public figure associated with the ruling party
An audio recording in which a Fatah officer is heard criticizing security officials within the Palestinian Authority security services led to the man’s arrest. The voice on the recording is alleged to be that of Monir Aljaghoub, head of Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, who was arrested on Wednesday.
The PA Military Intelligence Service arrested the public relations officer after recordings reportedly sent by him in an “internal private group” via WhatsApp were leaked to the public. In the recording, Aljaghoub can be heard criticizing the arrest of his brother, Mutassem, a member of the customs police, while he was trying to file a complaint with the intelligence service against other members of the police force.
The hands of PA security forces reach everyone. No one is immune to being arrested by the PA security forces. No one is too big and above being detained.
The decision to arrest Aljaghoub, who is officially listed and paid as a PA security official, on charges of “defamation directed at the Supreme Commander, the courts, agencies, or forces, and doing what would weaken the spirit of the military regime or obedience to superiors.”
“The hands of PA security forces reach everyone. No one is immune to being arrested by the PA security forces. No one is too big and above being detained,” a Fatah member, who requested that his identity remain hidden for fear he would have the same fate Aljaghoub, told The Media Line.
Accusations of rampant corruption and widespread mismanagement within Fatah and the PA is nothing new, but coming from a public figure and a member of the Palestinians’ largest faction makes it more significant.
“It’s a taboo topic and should be handled privately and not on social media platforms or other outlets,” a PA official who also asked that his name be withheld because of the sensitivity of the situation told The Media Line.
“(PA President Mahmoud) Abbas, (PLO head Hussein) al-Sheikh, (intelligence services head Majed) Faraj and PA security are untouchables, you can’t criticize them and expect nothing to happen,” the PA official, who is also a top Fatah member, said.
According to sources, al-Sheikh and others tried to intervene to free Aljaghoub, but all their attempts have so far failed.
Aljaghoub has been ordered held for 14 days while the investigation continues.
His long years as a loyal member in the top tier of the Fatah movement did not help Aljaghoub, nor did his staunch defense of the movement and Abbas, nor his close relationship with top influential officials like al-Sheikh and Faraj.
In the first leaked recording, Aljaghoub can be heard criticizing Zakaria Musleh, the head of the Military Intelligence Service, saying: “You do not control your affairs, and you do not rule this institution,” and that Musleh “is nothing more than a person who signs papers that does not know what he is signing or what to do.”
Aljaghoub said that the arrest of his brother indicates the “lack of law,” also describing the officials in the institution as “small in stature,” and saying that he considers them “rogues against the respected institution.”
Also in the leaked recording, Aljaghoub addressed an official in the PA Military Intelligence, saying that it was a “shame” to block a complaint from being made, describing the official as “insignificant.”
Aljaghoub also mentions Iyad Barakat, who heads the customs police apparatus, describing him as “unfit” to lead the customs police “nor any position of responsibility,” and wondering out loud that “I do not know how you are appointed in this way and this manner,” describing him as “a disgrace to the entire military establishment.”
In another leaked recording, Aljaghoub denounced the military force’s storming of the military court headquarters in Ramallah to arrest his brother while he was “in the hands of justice,” which Aljaghoub says has forced him to reconsider all his positions because it is unreasonable for one to remain silent for a long time, saying that “injustice is darkness.”