Field Update

Today at dawn, 6 persons were injured during armed clashes between officers from Palestinian security services and a number of armed persons in the Old City of Nablus. This incident is part of the state of proliferation of weapons, security chaos and assault on the rule of law in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights’ (PCHR) investigations, at approximately 02:00 on Tuesday, 29 March 2016, an armed clash erupted between officers from Palestinian security services and a number of Palestinian armed persons after the former were trying to arrest and armed person in the Old City of Nablus. As a result, other armed persons arrived and opened fire at the Palestinian police officers. The armed clash lasted for hours, due to which, 6 persons were injured. Three of the wounded were passers-by, including a child and a woman. Moreover, an armed person and 2 security officers were injured as well. The injured passers-by were identified as:

  1. Baha’ al-Deen Nabil Semyaq (16), from Qalqilya. He sustained shrapnel wounds to the forehead and left cheek;
  2. Seham Abdul Rahim Hussein Semyaq (50), from Qalqilya also. She sustained a shrapnel wound to the left thigh; and
  3. Ammar Bassam Mohammed Sobhi Bustami (28), from Nablus. He sustained a shrapnel wound to the left thigh too.

The events leading to this armed clash started on 13 March 2016, when Israeli forces released a Palestinian prisoner, from Nablus, after he served his sentence in an Israeli prison. Palestinians received this former prisoner with firing in the air as a form of celebration; therefore, Palestinian security officers arrived at the scene trying to stop that gunfire in the air. However, the situation developed to a quarrel and then to an armed clash. The situation was then contained until it re-erupted today morning.

PCHR stresses that this incident is part of the state of proliferation of weapons, security chaos and assault on the rule of law in the oPt. PCHR further calls upon the Attorney General to initiate a serious and transparent investigation in the incident, publish the investigation results and bring those involved in the eruption of the armed clash to justice.