A group of gunmen, mostly from the Fatah Movement, clashed at dawn Saturday with security forces from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.
Eyewitnesses said that soldiers from the PA security forces stormed al-Jammasin neighborhood in the camp and traded fire with armed young men, adding that local women intervened and forced the soldiers to withdraw.
The PA security authorities claimed the armed clashes happened with unruly elements from the camp.
Balata camp and other West Bank camps have been seeing armed confrontations for over a year between the PA security forces and Fatah-affiliated gunmen allegedly wanted for criminal offenses.
One of the reasons behind such armed violence in the West Bank is believed to be the conflict between PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and his arch rival Mohamed Dahlan, the Fatah leader who Abbas dismissed in 2011 on financial corruption claims. Today, Dahlan wields increasing influence in these camps through providing funds and weapons for his supporters there in the hope of destabilizing Abbas’ rule.
(Source / 08.07.2017)