13 injured as Palestinian police clash with gunmen in Nablus

Firefight erupts between PA security forces and armed Fatah militants as cops attempt to arrest a murder suspect

Illustrative: Palestinian members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah movement, raise their weapons during a rally to support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government on March 1, 2016, in the West Bank Balata refugee camp near Nablus (AFP / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)
Illustrative: Palestinian members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah movement, raise their weapons during a rally to support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government on March 1, 2016, in the West Bank Balata refugee camp near Nablus (AFP / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

Armed clashes broke out Tuesday between Palestinian security forces and local youths in the West Bank city of Nablus, leaving seven youths and six security officials injured, the Ma’an news agency reported.

The firefight, which took place in Nablus’s old city, ensued after PA security forces attempted to arrest a local man accused of murder, Nablus’s governor, Akram Rujoub, told Ma’an.

A local man named Hani Halaweh, a leader in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military wing, was identified as the murder suspect by Rujoub. Halaweh is believed to have been involved in the killing of a man named Ashraf al-Beia two months ago, the report said.

Halaweh spoke out against the PA immediately after the clashes.

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)

“What happened today was a raid on houses of martyrs, prisoners, and resistance fighters in the old city, which we will not allow,” he said.

“We look to the Palestinian Authority as a Palestinian national project that must be protected and defended, but there are people in the PA who still chase resistance fighters when they should be chasing spies and drug dealers,” he added.

Since October 2015, when the recent round of violence erupted between Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinians have often expressed dissatisfaction with their leadership.

A recent example of unrest was last month, when the PA used its security resources to violently quell a large-scale teachers’ strike throughout the West Bank.

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