Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned on Wednesday the assassination of a security officer in Jenin and said he has ordered PA security forces to take drastic measures to capture the perpetrators.

Col. Hisham al-Rikh, 40, a top officer with the PA’s Preventive Security Force in Jenin, was shot dead late Tuesday near the city’s refugee camp.

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“We strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly crime, which is strange to the traditions and morals of our people,” Abbas said in a statement issued by his office. “We assure our people that we will deal severely with this suspicious crime.”