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Policeman Killed in West Bank Refugee Camp Clash - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Middle East

Policeman Killed in West Bank Refugee Camp Clash

Palestinians

A Palestinian policeman was killed on Monday in a shootout at a refugee camp in the West Bank, the official Wafa news agency reported.

A murder suspect killed Hassan Ali al-Hajj in a shootout that broke out in the densely populated Palestinian refugee camp of Balata, in the Israeli-occupied city of Nablus, when police went to arrest suspects, Wafa said, quoting officials.

Police spokesman Adnan al-Damiri identified the suspect as Ahmed Abu Hamada, also known as “Zaabur”.

Abu Hamada, who was wounded in the gunfight, was wanted by for murder, the possession of weapons and trafficking, as well as opening fire on police, said Damiri.

Police had gone to arrest him and other wanted criminals, but he refused to surrender and began shooting at the security forces.

The governor of Nablus told Wafa that a second policeman was slightly wounded in the shootout.

The suspect was eventually arrested, said Wafa.

Balata — the largest Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank home to 30,000 people — saw an uptick of violence last year when Palestinian security forces launched raids to seize illegal weapons.

There are frequent clashes between police and armed men who are holed up in the camp.

One of the men, Hatem Abu Rizeq, 30, recently told AFP he does not “trust Palestinian security forces” and those like him tracked by the authorities are constantly in fear of being “executed”.

Some analysts say Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas regards the camp as a support base for his political rival Mohammed Dahlan, who lives in exile.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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