Fatah members quit over killing of top commander

Emad al-Din Abu al-Ameed, 54, was shot by PA policemen on Saturday during clashes in the Balata suburb of Nablus.

FATAH GUNMEN hold rifles during a demonstration in the West Bank. (photo credit: REUTERS)
FATAH GUNMEN hold rifles during a demonstration in the West Bank.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Several members of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction on Sunday announced their resignation to protest the killing of one of their commanders in Nablus by PA security forces.
Emad al-Din Abu al-Ameed, 54, was shot by PA policemen on Saturday during clashes in the Balata refugee camp adjacent to Nablus.
Ameed, who served as secretary-general of Fatah in Balata, was shot in the thigh and died shortly after being rushed to a hospital in Nablus, Palestinian sources said.
The incident took place when PA security officers tried to close down several shops for violating measures announced by the PA government to curb the spread of coronavirus, the sources said.
Ameed, who headed a “popular emergency committee” entrusted with helping the PA security forces enforce the coronavirus restrictions, arrived at the scene in an attempt to prevent violent clashes between shopkeepers and Palestinian policemen, witnesses told The Jerusalem Post.
During the altercation, some Palestinians threw rocks and other objects at the policemen, who initially responded with tear gas before firing live ammunition, they said. The senior Fatah official was shot in the thigh and died in the hospital.
The incident, the first of its kind involving a senior Fatah official, triggered a wave of protests in Nablus and some of its surrounding refugee camps. Scores of angry Fatah activists took to the streets on Saturday night, burning tires and shooting into the air in protest of the killing of Ameed.
On Sunday, nine Fatah members from Nablus announced their resignation from the faction. But they stopped short of criticizing the PA security forces over the shooting.
“Following the regretful events that resulted in the martyrdom of commander Emad al-Ameed, we submit our resignations [from Fatah],” the members wrote in a letter to the faction leadership.
Ameed’s family members announced they would not accept condolences or hold a funeral for him until those responsible for his death were punished.
“We want those who shot him to be brought here before us,” the family said. “We either kill them or get killed. There will be no negotiations with any official over this matter. Our son was martyred while he was defending our people.”
PA Governor of Nablus Ibrahim Ramadan expressed “regret” over the death of Ameed and said he ordered the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate the incident.
Efforts were underway to prevent a further deterioration in wake of the incident, a senior Fatah official in Nablus told the Post.
“The situation in Nablus is very tense,” the official said. “Many Fatah members are very angry with the Palestinian Authority. We are now working to avoid anarchy and lawlessness.”
Senior PA security commanders have been in contact with the family to calm the situation, said Mazen Dweikat, a relative of Ameed.
“They promised us that those responsible for the shooting would be held accountable,” he said. “We have full confidence in our security forces. We hope they will take necessary measures to halt anarchy among the security forces.”
Hamas mourned the death of the Fatah official and called on the PA to launch a “serious investigation” into the shooting.
The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called on the PA security forces to enforce discipline among its members and “respect the law, dignity and rights of our people.”
Impoverished Palestinians were paying the price for the PA government’s current measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the PFLP said.