Ref: 14/2018

Today dawn, a person wanted for the Palestinian security services was killed in Balata refugee camp, and a security officer was wounded during an armed clash between both parties. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned over this incident and calls upon the Attorney General to investigate the incident’s circumstances. PCHR also calls upon the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take necessary measures to control the state of security chaos and proliferation of weapons, and maintain civilians’ lives in accordance with the relevant International standards and conventions.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 01 February 2018, Palestinian security services surrounded a house belonging to Ahmed Mohammed Husein ‘Aref ‘Issa (30) in al-Teirawiyah neighborhood near the edifice in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. The security services ordered Ahmed to turn himself in as an arrest warrant was issued for him, but he refused and clashed with them. As a result, ‘Issa was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the head and a security officer sustained minor wounds.  After that, the security services raided ‘Issa’s house and attacked his brother Mahmoud (20) and then took him to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus and he is still under their custody.

In his commentary on the incident, Nablus Governor Akram Rjoub said, “the Palestinian security services surrounded a house of a wanted person, who is a drug dealer, after an arrest warrant was issued for him. The wanted person refused to turn himself and opened fire at the security services wounding 2 officers. One of them was moderately wounded while the other sustained shrapnel wounds.”

These incidents come in light of the state of security chaos and proliferation of weapons in Balata refugee camp for more than 3 years, threatening the life and security of civilians. The last of these incidents was the killing of Mahmoud Khalil and injury of his daughter on 29 January 2018.

PCHR also stresses the importance of taking all necessary measures in order to maintain security and ban possession of firearms. PCHR also emphasizes that security services should comply with the principles of proportionality and protect civilians’ property, avoid excessive use of force and take into consideration the human rights standards when dealing with fugitives.