Of all places, it is in Azzariyeh, east of Jerusalem, that one can really learn to appreciate the activities of Palestinian law-enforcement authorities in cities like Ramallah and Nablus. In those cities, Palestinian security forces are seen as authority figures who are trying to protect and serve Palestinian citizens, not just as extensions of Fatah or subcontractors of the Israel Defense Forces or the Shin Bet security service.
Unlike Ramallah and Nablus, which are categorized as “A” areas, Azzariyeh and its neighbors Sawahra and Abu Dis are holed up in an enclave of type “B”, where the IDF does not allow the Palestinian police to be fully functional. The interim Oslo 2 agreement determines that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for maintaining public order in Area B, but in the same breath it limits the PA’s authority and the means by which it can protect the people from disruptions of public order. Almost every action taken by the Palestinian police in Area B requires IDF approval.