An exchange of fire erupted in the northern West Bank city of Jenin
between fighters from the al-Aqsa brigades (a Palestinian armed resistance
group) and the Palestinian Police following a dispute between Palestinian
policemen and Mohammad Abu Oraj, the leader of the brigades in the city of Jenin.
During the clashes, dozens of residents took to the streets and chanted slogans
calling for unity and marching to the area of conflict.ĂâĂÂ Their protests made
the fighters and police cease firing.
Following the clashes, a committee was formed to examine the reasons behind the shooting.ĂâĂÂ The committee includes members of the al-Aqsa brigades,
leaders of the Fatah movement, representatives of security groups, and
representatives of the governor’s office.
Leaders of the brigades Zakariyya Zobeidi, Mohammad Abu Hammad, Abu
Arraj and Jamal Abu al-Rob said that the al-Aqsa brigades are committed to the law and to the Palestinian Authority, and that they will make sure to prevent any attempt to break the unity of the Palestinians.
Ata Abu Rmeila, secretary of Fatah in Jenin area, held Israel responsible for
the dispute between the brigades and the P.A., saying the dispute was a result
of the illogical demands and unfair conditions being placed on the
Palestinians by the Israeli government.
Abu Rmeila called on the Palestinian movements and the P.A. to maintain
their unity and solve their conflicts through dialogue in order to serve the
best interests of the Palestinian people.
Mohammad Abu Hammad – Abu Arraj reported that the dispute started on
Monday when he went to the district court in Jenin and handed the police his
pistol, and two magazines of bullets.
‘The policemen asked me to hand in my rifle, but I rejected because the
army repeatedly invades Jenin’, Abu Arraj said.
Tension mounted between the policemen and the fighters in front of the
courthouse.ĂâĂÂ One policeman fired a bullet in the air.
Later on, some fighters of the brigades took control of a Palestinian
police car, drove it to the eastern neighborhood and fired several rounds at
it after parking it in the area.
Leaders of Fatah and several society leaders managed to mediate between
the fighters and the police and agreed to hold a meeting at the governor’s
office in order to end the disputes and conflicts.
Abu Arraj said that after the meeting was conducted, and the brigades
confirmed their commitment to abide by the law, police erected a checkpoint at
the entrance of the industrial zone in Jenin.ĂâĂÂ He stated, ‘When I approached the checkpoint, a policeman fired a bullet, injuring me in my leg’.
Following the shooting, several fighters of the brigades exchanged fire
with policemen in the main intersection of the city; dozens of residents
rushed to the area and mediated between the fighters and the policemen.
The governor of Jenin, Qaddoura Mousa, said that leaders of the
brigades demanded a resolution to the issue of the fighters who are still
targeted by the Israeli army, and said that they are committed to the orders of the P.A.and its political decisions.
The fighters demanded that the governor inform the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that they hold ‘those who ordered the policemen to open fire’ responsible for the unfortunate events.
Meanwhile, al-Aqsa brigades leaders Zakariyya Zobeidi and Jamal Abu Al-Rob warned that the Israeli military procedures are threatening the truce,
and called for unity and steadfastness among the Palestinians and their