Members of Palestinian Authority security forces patrol following clashes with Palestinian gunmen in which a Palestinian woman was shot dead, in the old town of the West Bank city of Nablus, November 16, 2016..
(photo credit: ABED OMAR QUSINI/REUTERS)
A Palestinian suspected of drug and weapons trafficking was shot dead in a gun battle with Palestinian Authority security forces on Thursday morning in the Balata refugee camp, PA Nablus Gov. Akram Rajoub said.
PA security forces killed the suspect and arrested his brother, who is suspected of similar crimes, after the two opened fire on PA forces, Rajoub said.
Exchanges of several rounds of bullets in Balata, located adjacent to Nablus, can be heard on videos shared on social media.
Rajoub also said that large amounts of automatic weapons, ammunition and drugs were confiscated from the place where the brothers were found.
Official PA television aired photos of an automatic weapon, hundreds of bullets, several magazines and drugs, which it said were in the brothers’ possession.
Neither Rajoub nor official PA media gave the names or ages of the brothers.
However, an official in the PA security forces identified them to The Jerusalem Post
as Ahmad Muhammad Essa, 29, also known as “al-Dalhi,” and Mahmoud Muhammad Essa, 26. He said that Ahmad was shot dead whereas Mahmoud was arrested and transferred to a PA prison in Jericho.
According to the PA security official, Ahmad was the ringleader of a drug and weapons trafficking operation in Balata, while Mahmoud had been serving as one of his assistants.
Over the past several years, violent clashes have frequently broken out in Balata between PA security forces and Palestinians suspected of various crimes.
Last March, a member of the PA security forces was killed in a gun fight in Balata with another Palestinian suspected of drug and weapons trafficking.