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"PA Security Forces murdered a Palestinian citizen" to the "fury" of Palestinian society

Headline: “We must deal with the crime of murder in Nablus and bring to account [those responsible]”


An editorial of the Al-Quds paper.





“The events in Nablus, and particularly in the old city, are developing tragically, which raises many doubts and requires serious and decisive answers. There were already murders in the past between the [PA] Security Forces and citizens, and these acts were carried out as part of what the Security Forces described as ‘an operation against outlaws .’


However, the family of Khaled Al-Aghbar, one of the victims, said in a statement that their son was not an outlaw, and that the Security Forces arrested him alive and killed him afterwards, according to eye-witnesses. This was the beginning of the escalation of tension in the city, and between the different versions matters were left unclear.


Yesterday [Aug. 23, 2016] the catastrophic surprise took place. All sides agreed that Ahmed Nimr Halawa, Abu Al-Izz, was eliminated at Juneid Prison by the Palestinian Security Forces. A high ranking Palestinian official in Nablus tried to justify the murder by saying that Ahmed cursed and hit the Security Forces, who responded by beating him to death. Signs of torture were evident on his body.


Words cannot describe this tragedy and this conduct, particularly because Ahmed Halawa – who several officials defined as ‘the head of the snake’ and the one responsible for the attacks on the Security Forces – was one of the heads of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (i.e., Fatah’s military wing). All of Nablus was furious over this crime, and likewise all of our people. A general strike took place in the city, and the national forces – including senior members of Fatah, the municipality, and the institutions – published statements of condemnation.


The [PA] government established an investigative committee led by the Minister of Justice, in which staff of the Security Forces and the [PA] General Attorney’s office are members, and [PA] Prime Minister [Rami Hamdallah] described the matter as an “anomaly” – but this is not enough, and it does not meet the basic demands of the citizens. The crime is clear and the murder was carried out within the prison.


Abu Al-Izz was not armed and did not pose a danger to anyone, and those who took part in his murder must take full responsibility. The matters are clear and there is no need for an investigative committee, unless the goal of such a committee is to determine who was involved in the crime.


Our entire people rallies against this incident, and views it as a tragedy in all that is related to the treatment of people, even on the assumption that they were outlaws. Moreover, there are numerous other complaints of citizens against the conduct of some of the Palestinian Security Forces in the old city of Nablus itself and in other areas. We are in favor of enforcing order, protecting the security of the citizen and [protecting them] from persecution by outlaws – but within the framework of the law and order. It is impossible to fight outlaws by breaking the law.


What is happening in Nablus and other places requires quick treatment, and requires bringing to account in a serious and public manner all those involved. That is because the rage and discontent are rising among the public in general, and now these actions add oil to the bonfire of rage. It is forbidden to procrastinate or try to ‘silence’ the case, on the assumption that it will calm down with time!”

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