Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority security forces prevent supporters of Hizb-ut Tahrir party from celebrating the end of Ramadan and performing the Eid al-Fitr prayer in the city of Hebron, early on June 4, 2019.

The Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction lost one of its ranking officials on Saturday during clashes between PA security forces and locals in the Balata al-Balad suburb of Shechem (Nablus), according to a report published in the Arabic-language Sama News website. At least four people were injured in the clashes, including Imad al-Din Abu al-Amid Dweikat, 54, the secretary of the Fatah “movement” in Balata al-Balad and two more civilians as well as two security personnel.


Dweikat was officially killed by a bullet wound in the thigh after he was shot by PA security forces who were reportedly operating in the suburb and trying to close a store due to coronavirus regulations. He died shortly after arriving at Rafida Hospital, according to the news site.

Palestinian Authority Governor of Nablus, Major General Ibrahim Ramadan announced the formation of an investigative committee to probe Dweikat’s death.

“There is a necessity for everyone to exercise a sense of responsibility, and we will stand upon our own responsibilities to immediately investigate these events, based on instructions from the His Excellency the President and the Prime Minister,” he said in a press statement.

Balata al-Balad, today a suburb of Nablus, is located just one kilometer (slightly over half a mile) east of the city center. Formerly its own village, it was annexed to the municipality of Nablus during the occupation of Jordan, from 1948 to 1967, according to Wikipedia.

According to eyewitness reports quoted by Sama News, “dozens of citizens went out in protest against the injury of two Palestinian civilians due to gunfire.”

The governor warned the protesters, however, “Let us work together to prevail in the public interest in a way that achieves civil peace and avoids sedition, especially in these exceptional circumstances.”

(Translation: “Don’t even think of rebelling. It won’t be tolerated.”)


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.