Preventive Security Force

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The Preventive Security Force (PSF) (Arabic: الأمن الوقائي) or Preventive Security Service is one of the security apparatus of the State of Palestine. It was established in 1994 by president Yasser Arafat in accordance with the Oslo Accords. In 2003, the organisation was merged into the Palestinian Security Services.


The PSF is the PA’s largest intelligence service. In 2006, 5,000 plain-clothed members served in separate units in the West Bank and Gaza. It provides intelligence to the political level, and its main duties include he PNA’s largest intelligence service.[1]

Jibril Rajoub headed the West Bank Force until 2002.[2] Mohammed Dahlan, was the first chief of the Palestinian Security Force in Gaza from 1994 to 2002. Dahlan was replaced by Rashid Abu Shbak. In April 2005, Rashid Abu Shbak became head of the PSF in both West Bank and Gaza. In February 2006, he was appointed head of the new Palestinian Security Services, which included the PSF.[3]

On 14 June 2007, Hamas militants took over the Preventative Security building in Gaza City and the intelligence service headquarters in Gaza.[4]


The service was initially formed by the demobilization and reintegration of fighters and members of Fatah, who either were based abroad and returned after the Oslo Accords or operated inside the Palestinian Territories under Fatah's banner. One explanation for this composition is the nature of the force's primary task of safeguarding internal security. This task required prior knowledge of the environment in the territories, which Fatah's activists possessed thanks to operating in the territories before and during the First Intifada. This was in contrast to, for example, the National Security Services, whose had military, such as the control of the borders and the provision of support to other law-enforcement agencies when needed.


The PPS was accused by Israel of playing a covert role in the Second Intifada that erupted in September 2000 after Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. In 2001, it shelled the house of General Jibril Rajoub, then colonel, who at the time was the PPS director. A number of PPS officers were also assassinated, injured and arrested. In April 2002, Sharon ordered the Operation Defensive Shield, the largest Israeli military campaign in the West Bank since its occupation in 1967. PPS, which was relatively intact, was considered the PA's strongest line of defense. Hence, destroying the PPS was one of the main goals of the operation. The headquarters of PPS in Beitunia was placed under a military siege, with intensive shelling by tanks and Apaches, reducing the headquarters to rubble, and injuring dozens of officers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Palestinian Security Services: Past and Present. MIFTAH, 30 May 2006
  2. ^ Report: Palestinian police chief to run against Arafat. CNN, 4 July 2002
  3. ^ Hamas: From Resistance to Government. Paola Caridi, Seven Stories Press, 2012.
    [Rashid Abu Shbak] "returned in 1994, upon installment of the PNA and became Mohammed Dahlan's deputy in the Gaza Preventative Security Force, of which he took charge in 2002. In April 2005, he began his rise to the very top of the security services when Abu Mazen appointed him head of the Preventative Security Force in the West Bank and Gaza. On February, 20, 2006, he was appointed head of the security services.
  4. ^ Hamas hails 'liberation' of Gaza. BBC, 14 June 2007

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