March 21, 2023

Palestinian security forces and militants agreed to a ceasefire Wednesday to end violent clashes in a flashpoint West Bank town, local officials said. The violence underscores deep discontent with the internationally backed Palestinian leadership.

For the time being, the deal to end the conflict eases tensions in the area, which on Tuesday gripped the Palestinian Authority with some of the most bitter years of hostility. But the cease-fire fails to address the underlying and widespread opposition to Palestinian security coordination with Israel.

Clashes erupted after Palestinian security raids against local militants. Fire was exchanged between the two sides when angry residents hurled objects at an armored jeep and drove it away. One death was reported. The violence is reminiscent of the way Palestinians commonly protest against Israeli soldiers.

The unrest in Nablus reflects the deep unpopularity of the Palestinian leadership, which is largely seen in its security ties with Israel over 55 years of Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and its nearly 3 million residents. It is also plagued by corruption and has repeatedly delayed elections.

Israel is Palestinian
Palestinians clash with Palestinian security forces after an arrest operation against local militants in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Nasser Nasser/AP

A semblance of normal life returned to Nablus, known as the commercial capital of the West Bank, on Wednesday. Shoppers milled around debris from the collision as firefighters on cranes tore broken glass from shop front windows bordering the city’s main Martyrs Square. Palestinian security forces are deployed in armored vehicles in the city center.

A committee of Palestinian factions and other prominent figures said that under the ceasefire, Palestinian security forces would stop arresting suspects wanted by Israel in the city, unless they broke Palestinian law. Authorities will discuss the release of one of those arrested in the recent operation. They will also release Palestinians detained in Tuesday’s clashes, unless they damage or loot property.

The Palestinian Authority maintains close security ties with Israel, and the two often cooperate against Islamist militants in the West Bank. Israel has urged the Palestinian Authority to do more to combat militancy, especially in the coming months Stream of deadly attacks against the Israelis in the spring, which killed 19 people.

Israel has instead stepped up its own operations in the area, sending troops into nightly raids in villages, towns and cities, detaining hundreds of Palestinians and killing around 90 in the process. Israel said most of the dead were militants, while others were local youths who were killed when they threw stones or firebombs at Israeli troops.

something Civilians have been killed In violence, one of them experienced Al Jazeera journalist and a lawyer who inadvertently walks into the battlefield. In May, 16-year-old Palestinian Gaith Yamin was shot dead by Israeli soldiers during clashes between a Jewish pilgrim in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced at the time.

The northern West Bank, including areas around Nablus and Jenin, a city that has long been a bastion of armed struggle against Israel, was the focus of the campaign. The Palestinian Authority is viewed with deep suspicion because of its limited presence and security ties with Israel.

That frustration, combined with rising tensions fueled by the overnight Israeli raid, boiled over with clashes on Tuesday.

Israel is Palestinian
Israeli police remove the body of Palestinian Musa Sarsour after he allegedly killed an 84-year-old Israeli woman and then hanged himself in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

Oded Balilty/AP

Israel says the operation aims to destroy militant networks that threaten its citizens and that it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians. Palestinians say the aggression is aimed at maintaining Israeli military rule over the territories they want for a future state — a dream as distant as ever, with no serious peace talks for more than a decade.

of Israel occupation of the West Bank Now in its 55th year, there are no signs of ending anytime soon Palestinians seek all of the West Bank, home to some 500,000 Israeli settlers, as the center of a future independent state.

In Tel Aviv, police said they found West Bank resident Musa Sarsour, 28, hanged from a main shopping district in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Sarsour was suspected of killing an 84-year-old woman in a suburb south of Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Citing authorities, Israeli media outlets reported Sarsour’s death as an apparent suicide, according to AFP.

Security camera footage, which captured the attack, showed the woman being repeatedly hit from behind and falling to the ground.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who was there United Nations General Assembly In New York, it called the killing a “shocking attack by a despicable and cowardly terrorist”.

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