Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR) In Security Escalation in Nablus, 2 Wounded, Including Security Officer, Due to Clashes Between Security Officers and Armed Persons in Balata Refugee Camp

Yesterday (Saturday), two persons, including a Palestinian security officer, were wounded during clashes between Palestinian security officers and armed persons in Balatah refugee camp in Nablus. These clashes are a resumption of the clashes witnessed in the camp 10 days ago, as clashes erupting now and then have resulted in the injury of civilians, including children.

For over two months, Nablus has witnessed a state of security chaos, whereas clashes erupt between security services and armed persons. As a result of these clashes, 7 persons, including 4 security officers, were wounded in total.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights’ (PCHR) investigations, at approximately 01:00 on Saturday, 29 October 2016, Palestinian security services moved into Balatah refugee camp, southeast of Nablus, to arrest wanted persons.

Meanwhile, a number of security officers topped some houses after which clashes erupted between them and a number of armed persons. The clashes lasted until 09:30 after which the security services withdrew. The clashes resulted in the injury of two civilians, one of whom was a security officer.

The two wounded were taken to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus, but the security officer was then transferred to al-Najah Hospital. The 2 wounded were identified as:

  1. Abdullah Bassam Shraim (28), a security officer from Qalqilya. He sustained a shrapnel wound due to which he lost his eye; and
  2. Khaled Hassan Hashash (53). He sustained a shrapnel wound to the head.

Previously, two civilians, including a child, were wounded during clashes between Palestinian youngsters and security officers on 25 October, as the youngsters closed al-Quds Street adjacent to Balatah refugee camp. They then threw stones, empty bottles, Molotov Cocktails and home-made grenades at the security officers, who opened fire in response. As a result, two civilians from Balatah were wounded. They were identified as:

  1. Nezam Tahsin Abu Mostafa (13), who sustained a shrapnel wound to the chest; and
  2. Fadi Fares Thabet (30), who sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg.

These two wounded were transported to Rafidya Hospital in Nablus, where they received the necessary medical treatment.

On 21 October 2016, clashes erupted between the Palestinian security services and armed persons in Balatah refugee camp. As a result, 4 civilians sustained injuries as the security services moved into the abovementioned camp from 4 entrances. Moreover, clashes continued for 3 hours.

As a result, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation while 4 others sustained live bullet wounds. The wounded persons were identified as:

  1. Mohammed Rashid Hassan (23), who was hit with a live bullet to his thigh;
  2. Khalil Mohammed Riahi (33), a security officer, who sustained a shrapnel wound to the chest;
  3. Rami Sami Abu Ayyash (40), who was hit with a live bullet to the leg; and
  4. Ali Shadi al-Natour (40), who was hit with a live bullet to the leg as well.

PCHR expresses its deep concern over the deteriorating security situation and warns against moving towards security chaos. PCHR also stresses the importance of taking all necessary measures in order to control the security situation and prevent gun possession.

PCHR also emphasizes that security services should comply with the principles of proportionality and legality of using force, protecting civilians, avoiding excessive use of force and taking into consideration the human rights standards when dealing with fugitives from justice.