Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – A Palestinian man has been killed during ongoing clashes between Palestinian militants and Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
Local media identified the man as Firas Yaeesh, 53. His death was announced at dawn on Tuesday.
Witnesses, as well as local journalists, have said that Yaeesh was killed by PA police. Neither PA nor Yaeesh’s family would comment and details of the man’s murder remain unclear.
“Armed men opened fire at the Nablus police center, then the police started shooting indiscriminately – a bullet from the police hit him and killed him on his doorstep.” , journalist Hazem Nasser of Nablus told Al Jazeera, citing witnesses.
According to local journalists, an autopsy is expected to be conducted later on Tuesday.
Another Palestinian man Anas Abdelfattah, who is believed to be a student at An-Najah National University in Nablus, suffered a serious gunshot wound to the abdomen and is in critical condition.
Clashes and confrontations occurred in Nablus shortly after midnight after the PA arrested two Palestinian militants, including 30-year-old Musab Shtayyeh, who is on Israel’s most wanted list.
Shtayyeh is the commander of the al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Gaza-based Hamas armed resistance movement.
The remaining fighter was identified as Ameed Tabliyeh.
Clashes are going on
Clashes were still ongoing at midday on Tuesday, with live ammunition being fired by both sides.
Young people also threw stones and PA security forces fired tear gas into the crowd.
– الإخبارية (@qudsn) September 20, 2022
Local journalists told Al Jazeera that several people were injured after inhaling tear gas. PA police have cordoned off the Martyrs’ roundabout and the area around the Old City in central Nablus.
“The situation is difficult. There is an indiscriminate fire. It was very stressful,” Nasser said.
Atef Daghlas, who lives near the roundabout, said that “since morning the clashes have lessened in intensity, but there are confrontations with young people continuing”.
Daghlas told Al Jazeera: “If there is a funeral for Yaeesh, especially at the roundabout of the Martyrs, the situation could escalate.
ادر محلية: “مواجهات الأجهزة لى ار ابلس اعتقال اشتية”. pic.twitter.com/sEaXcobIxs
– الإخبارية (@qudsn) September 20, 2022
Following news of the capture of the two fighters, armed groups in Nablus and Jenin issued statements calling for their release, and dozens of fighters took to the streets and fired live ammunition into the air.
Hamas said in a statement shortly after midnight that it condemned the arrest and called for the immediate release of the detained militants.
“While the enemy [Israel] continuing its activities of murder and arrest, as well as Judaization and settlements, the Protected Area persists in coordinating security and oppression of our people as well as suppressing and arresting militants. ,” the movement stated.
In a video statement, the Lion’s Den armed group in Nablus said: “We send an urgent message to the security services: the sons of ‘Lion’s Den’, and all Palestinian political factions in Nablus, will not accept [Israeli] The number one most wanted person of the profession is [detained] in PA prisons. “
The group threatened that “not one [PA] security force personnel will be allowed to operate in the city of Nablus” if Shtayyeh is not released.
The Jenin Brigades, another armed group in the occupied North West Bank, said “prisoner Musab Shtayyeh must be released, so that we do not find ourselves in a situation where you are not satisfied” and added in the statement. Their video “we don’t ask you to fight with us or on our behalf, but don’t become a poison dagger behind our back”.
The PA’s arrest of the two men came during an Israeli military operation called Break the Wave, in which Israeli forces pursued Palestinian gunmen, especially in the cities of Jenin and Nablus in the occupied West Bank, home to armed Palestinian resistance. has become more organized since May last year.
After a series of attacks in Israel by Palestinians since March that left 19 people dead, the Israeli military has been thwarting near-daily raids and arrests in two cities and often killing militants. Palestinian soldiers.
Tuesday’s intra-Palestinian clashes could signal a new phase in the violence that has stretched the occupied West Bank this year.
“[The confrontations signal a] leg of [the armed group’s] set boundaries with [PA] security forces,” said journalist Nasser. “Yes, there are political arrests, but arresting wanted people – that will be prevented.”