The Palestinian security services in the West Bank declared that their forces killed two wanted persons in an armed clash in Nablus’s Old City after surrounding the area and clashing with gunmen in the vicinity of al-Khayat Family divan. This came after two security officers were killed, and a number of civilians were wounded during a clash erupted in the city only hours earlier.
According to the follow-up by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 18 August 2016, Palestinian security forces called for backups to arrest wanted persons accused of killing two security officers in a clash erupted in the city only hours earlier. The security forces surrounded al-‘Aqbah neighborhood in the Old City and clashed with gunmen. As a result, two persons, who were claimed by the security services to be wanted to justice, were killed while another person was wounded and later arrested from the hospital. The killed persons were identified as Khaled al-Aghnar (22) and Fares Halawah (24). The clash, which continued until 04:00, resulted in the injury of a security officer and burning al-Khayat divan, which is considered as an archeological site in the Old City.
This incident came after two security officers were killed by masked gunmen. The killed officers were identified as Shalabi Bani Shamsah (27), a Special Police officer, and Mahmoud Tarayrah (27), a National Security officer. The incident happened at approximately 17:30 on Thursday, 18 August 2016 when a joint force from the Palestinian security services surrounded a group of wanted gunmen on al-Nasser Street near al-Nasser Mosque in the center of Nablus’s Old City. Armed clashes immediately broke out between the security force and gunmen, who fled out of the Old City. During the clash, a number of civilians sustained various wounds and were identified as:
- Mohammed Marahil (26) from Romanah village, northwest of Jenin sustained a shrapnel wound to his leg;
- Malek Nawahdah (16) ffrom al-Yamoun village, northwest of Jenin, sustained shrapnel wounds in his body;
- Mahmoud al-Salman (34) from Tulkarm sustained a shrapnel wound to his neck and
- Ahmed al-Titi (30) from al-Fawar refugee camp, southwest of Hebron.
These incidents are part of the state of the escalating security chaos and proliferation of weapons in the West Bank that threaten life of civilians and their security.
PCHR emphasizes that all necessary measures should be taken to maintain security and prohibit the possession or use of weapons. Moreover, PCHR stresses that security forces should abide by the shooting instructions according to the principle of proportionality, protect civilians’ property, avoid the excessive use of force and take into account all human rights standards when dealing with wanted persons.