Violent incidents broke out in the Balata refugee camp near Shechem (Nablus) over the weekend between Fatah members loyal to Muhammad Dahlan, members of the Palestinian Authority security forces and opponents of Fatah.
The events began after the killing of Hatem Abu Rizak, 32, a senior member of the Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who is considered one of Muhammad Dahlan’s loyalists.
Rizak was carrying an explosive device and was about to throw it at another group of Fatah members following a violent and protracted conflict between him and Mahmoud Shatiwi, who is also a member of the PA security forces and is considered an ally of Nidal Abu Dahan, the national security commander. The device exploded and killed Aby Rizak.
Dozens of PA security men broke into the camp with the support of armored vehicles, and residents told TPS that they took advantage of the incident to hit Dahlan’s loyalists.
A total of seven residents were injured during the clashes, in which a PA security official was seriously injured by a gunshot to the abdomen.
This incident greatly raises tensions within Fatah and the Palestinian Authority after violent clashes took place last week in the Al-Ma’ari camp near Ramallah, also between Dahlan’s men and the Palestinian Authority. Some of Dahlan’s men fled and were declared wanted.
Following the events in Nablus, Dahlan’s men are now demanding that an investigation be launched into the circumstances of Abu Rizak’s killing.
Dahlan is one of Abbas’ rivals.