Palestinians kill suspected Israeli collaborator in W. Bank

Omar Helwan, 32, from village near Nablus, shot by masked men in second such killing this month; had previously served prison time.

May 21, 2011 16:34
1 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Armed Palestinians hold suspected collaborator 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

NABLUS - Masked Palestinians shot dead a West Bank man suspected of spying for Israel on Saturday, the second such killing in the territory this month, security sources said on Saturday.

They identified the victim as Omar Helwan, 32, of Beit Dajan village near Nablus, and said he had previously been held in a Palestinian prison on charges of working as an Israeli agent. Palestinian police were investigating, security sources said.

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Palestinians look harshly upon collaboration with the Jewish state. During a Palestinian uprising which began in 2000, militants publicly executed people they accused of tipping off Israeli security forces about the whereabouts of wanted men.

But such killings have become rare in the West Bank since a bolstered police force, supervised by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's government, has largely restored law and order in recent years.

Under Western scrutiny, Abbas has withheld the presidential approval required by law for carrying out death sentences against Palestinians convicted of treason. Ignoring him, rival Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip on May 4 executed a Palestinian found guilty of spying.

That move underscored continued tensions between the factions despite a power-sharing deal sealed with Egypt's help.

A 30-year-old Palestinian whom Abbas's security services had sought to arrest on suspicion of being an Israeli informant was killed by gunmen outside the hub city of Ramallah on May 6.

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