NABLUS: Palestinian protesters clash with security forces in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday following the arrest of two members of the Hamas group.—AFP
NABLUS: Palestinian protesters clash with security forces in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday following the arrest of two members of the Hamas group.—AFP

NABLUS: A rare operation by the Palestinian Authority security forces to arrest a Hamas member sparked clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, killing one.

A statement from the security forces confirmed the death of bystander Firas Yaish and said they were “waiting for a medical report”, on the circumstances of his killing.

He was killed “in a place where no security personnel were present,” security spokesman Talal Dweikat said in a statement.

Unrest persisted through the morning, with hundreds of youths hurling rocks at PA armoured vehicles and the sound of gunfire ringing out across the city centre.

Ahmed, 26, a protester who declined to give his family name citing personal security concerns, said the protesters’ anger was fuelled by “security coordination between the PA and the occupation (Israel)”. “Go away Abu Mazen,” he said, referring to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

“You are not the Palestinians but only one man — and a man who wants to fill his pocket with money,” he said.

Hamas, historic rivals of the Abbas’s secular Fatah movement that controls the PA, condemned the arrest of 30-year-old Musaab Shtay­yeh, calling it a “kidnapping... a national crime” and a “stain” on the PA’s image.

It demanded the immediate release of Shtayyeh and Ameed Tbaileh, who was arrested with him, and blasted the PA for keeping up security coordination with Israel.

“The authority has positioned itself as an exclusive agent of the occupation (Israel) in the face of our Palestinian people,” the statement said.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2022

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