Four dead in Nablus as Palestinian police battle gunmen
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Four dead in Nablus as Palestinian police battle gunmen

Two security forces, 2 others killed in ongoing battle in heart of West Bank city as PA tries to crack down on illegal weapons

Illustrative: Palestinian police take part in a training session of the Palestinian special police force in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Palestinian police take part in a training session of the Palestinian special police force in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2014. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian police searching for weapons clashed with gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus into Friday morning, leaving four people dead, Palestinian officials said.

The firefight erupted on Thursday evening after officers entered Nablus’s Old City, a densely populated warren of alleyways that was one of the flashpoints of the second Palestinian uprising between 2000 and 2005.

The shooting was still continuing on Friday morning, security forces spokesman Adnan al-Damiri said.

Nablus governor Akram Rajoub said that two police had been killed in the operation as well as two gunmen, both of whom he said were on a police wanted list.

Video uploaded to YouTube reportedly showed one of the injured police officers being carried through the streets of the old city by civilians.

Gun violence is rampant in the West Bank, PA police spokesman Loaie Izrekat said in June. Recently the house of Nablus Mayor Ghassan Shakeh came under fire. The late governor of Jenin Qadura Mussa had attempted to crack down on weapons dealing and died of a heart attack after assailants fired at his home in 2012.

On June 30, five Palestinians, including two PA security officers, were killed in separate shootings in the West Bank, while sixteen people were injured.

Under the 1993 Oslo accords with Israel, Palestinian police operate in most of the major Palestinian towns, including Nablus.

The northern West Bank has seen a number of Palestinian police raids in recent months. The area has witnessed factional infighting within the ruling Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

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