IDF forces face Palestinian Preventive Security forces in Nablus.
(photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
A firefight broke out between IDF forces and Palestinian security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus early Tuesday morning in what the IDF said was a case of mistaken identity.
“During operations to arrest terrorist operatives in the city of Nablus, a firefight broke out between IDF soldiers and people who were identified by the troops as suspects. After the fact, it was determined that it was Palestinian security services personnel,” the IDF said in a statement.
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.”
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 ten armored vehicles from the United States with Israel's approval.
Israeli security forces, including the IDF, police and Shin Bet intelligence agency, carry out near nightly raids in the West Bank in an attempt to arrest Palestinians suspected of violence against Israelis.
As part of the security coordination between Israel and the PA, Palestinian security officers do not intervene in the arrests. Both sides see the security cooperation as a critical aspect of maintaining stability in the West Bank.
For the past three months, tens of thousands of Palestinian security officers have been receiving only half their salaries because the PA is refusing to accept taxes withheld by Israel - some NIS 500 million a month - in protest over Israeli deductions equal to the amount paid by the PA to individuals who commit terror attacks.
Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) said following the incident that, "the confrontation between the IDF and the Preventive Security forces in Nablus is exceptional, severe and worrying, and does not bode well. It is preferable that the defense minister [Benjamin Netanyahu], who is currently busy with his criminal affairs, hasten to resolve the crisis before the situation deteriorates."
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