PA Snipers on Rooftops as Shechem Erupts in Violence

By Hamodia Staff

Palestinian demonstrators protesting the arrest of a Hamas operative clash with Palestinian Authority security forces, in Shechem, Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman/File Photo)

YERUSHALAYIM — Tensions between the two rival Palestinian factions, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, erupted in violence on Tuesday following the arrest of a senior Hamas operative, by PA security forces, according to media reports.

Hundreds of Palestinian youths in Shechem, hurled rocks at the PA’s armored vehicles and gunfire sounded around the city during the funeral of a bystander killed in clashes earlier in the day, for which the protesters blamed the PA.

They also smashed security cameras belonging to the PA across the city, burned tires and fired at local media stations. Riots were also reported in nearby villages and in the Balata refugee camp.

In an effort to head off further unrest, PA snipers were positioned on rooftops in Palestinian cities in Yehuda and Shomron. More demonstrations were reportedly expected in Jenin and Ramallah.

Palestinian factions in Shechem announced a general strike to demand the release of Musab Shtayyeh, the Hamas man who was arrested, and warned the PA not to hand him over to Israeli authorities.

Nabil Abu Roudeina, the spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who was in New York for the General Assembly, called for “calm.”

“We must maintain national unity and respect law and order. We must focus on our main battle against the Israeli occupation and for the liberation of Jerusalem, Abu Rudeina said.

Hamas issued a statement warning the PA security services against carrying out actions on behalf of Israel.

“This is a new stain on the [Palestinian] Authority and the black record of its security coordination,” the terror group said in a statement, accusing them of working for Israel in the arrest of Shtayyeh.

The man who was killed was named as 53-year-old Firas Yaish. According to Palestinian reports he was a bystander and was shot in the head.

A statement from the PA security forces confirmed his death and said they were “waiting for a medical report,” on the circumstances of his killing.

He was killed “in a place where no security personnel were present,” forces spokesman Talal Dweikat said in a statement.

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