The sources said the younger Atallah, born in the West Bank village of
Beit Sourik, has risen rapidly in the PA. In 2007, he was appointed military
secretary by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. After six months in the job, Atallah
rose from the rank of colonel to brigadier general and then major general.
Along the way, he served in the Gaza Strip as well as in the West Bank.
Atallah, now director-general of the police, was said to have been
raised in Jordan and educated in Portugal. The sources said Abbas has given
wide powers regarding manpower, operations and relations with other
In his new post, Atallah has sought to expand contact between police
and civilians. He has urged police commanders to form relations with the
"Atallah reports only to Abu Mazen [Abbas]," the source said. "Nobody
else can tell him what to do and no other agency can get involved in police