Two Palestinian security officers killed in Nablus ambush

Forces shot at after fugitive opened fire on home of PA policeman injuring wife and daughter; 3 more Palestinians killed in shootout between clans

A view of the West Bank city of Nablus in 2013. (Creative Commons/Muataz Towfiq Agbaria)
A view of the West Bank city of Nablus in 2013. (Creative Commons/Muataz Towfiq Agbaria)

Five Palestinians, including two Palestinian Authority security officers, were killed overnight Wednesday in separate shootings in the West Bank. Sixteen people were injured in the incidents.

In one incident, a Palestinian fugitive shot at the home of a police officer in the town of Nablus, injuring his wife and daughter before fleeing the scene. When police arrived to investigate, they came under fire and two officers were killed, according to PA police spokesman Loaie Izrekat.

The wife and daughter, as well as one other security officer, were taken to the Nablus Rafidia hospital for treatment.

It was not immediately clear if the officer whose home was attacked was one of the fatalities.

The Governor of Nablus Akram Rajoub announced an emergency inquiry into the incident and called on all parties to exercise restraint in its wake, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an said.

Three more Palestinians were killed in a shootout between two clans that was sparked by an argument over a wedding hall in the town of Yaabad in the northern West Bank, according to Izrekat.

He said the argument escalated into clashes, with rival clans setting houses alight and firing at each other in the street. Palestinian police imposed a curfew on Yaabad to restore order.

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

Izrekat said Palestinian police face a unique challenge because they do not control about 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C, where the majority of Israeli settlers live. He said most guns in the West Bank originate in Israel.

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