A member of the Palestinian National Security Forces carries a picture of PA President Mahmoud Abbas during a graduation ceremony in Jericho last month.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority has rejected an offer to conduct a joint investigation into the circumstances surrounding the exchange of gunfire between PA security officers and IDF soldiers in Nablus.
The incident took place on Tuesday during a routine IDF operation in Nablus. Two officers belonging to the PA’s Preventive Security Force were slightly injured during the firefight, Palestinian sources said.
“We rejected an Israeli request to form a joint committee to investigate the shooting incident,” said Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces in the West Bank.
The incident, he said, began when PA officers noticed a suspicious vehicle near their headquarters in Nablus.
“When our officers became suspicious of the car, its occupants opened fire at them,” Damiri said. “The exchange of gunfire lasted for nearly two hours after Israeli army reinforcements arrived at the scene. Our security officers acted in self-defense, and were defending Nablus and Palestinian security.”
The spokesman accused Israel of pursuing a policy of “political, financial and security pressure on the Palestinians.”
While no Israeli soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire near the PA headquarters in the city, one Palestinian security officer was slightly injured in his hand.
The governor of Nablus, Ibrahim Ramadan, said that Israeli forces had not notified the PA before entering the city contrary to normal procedures and “directly and without justification” opened fire on the PA security service building, the PA news site WAFA reported.
According to the report, Ramadan inspected the scene “immediately” after IDF troops left the area and said that “we must not remain silent before such acts. Their goal was to kill. The bullets broke the windows and hit the offices.”
The Palestinian Quds News network also reported that PA security forces who arrived at the scene with a number of armored vehicles also came under fire by IDF troops. In late May, they received 10 armored vehicles from the US with Israel’s approval.
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