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Clashes erupt between PA security forces and Islamic Jihad demonstrators in Jenin

June 17, 2016 11:30 A.M. (Updated: June 23, 2016 4:40 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted early Friday for a short duration between Palestinian security forces and several armed members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an.

Palestinian security forces reportedly intervened to stop live firing as Islamic Jihad-affiliated demonstrators celebrated the release of Yahya Bassam al-Saadi from Israeli prison, according to security sources.

Sources added that the clashes erupted for a few minutes. No injuries with live fire were reported. However, four security officers were reportedly hit and injured with rocks.

The response of Palestinian security forces to the demonstration comes amidst accusations by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been carrying out “politically-motivated” arrest campaigns against its operatives in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a press statement later on Friday condemning Palestinian security forces for "assaulting and shooting" the members of their organization.

Leader of the movement Khalid al-Batsh said in the statement that "we reject these reprehensible acts, which provoke our national and moral values."

Al-Batsh questioned the interests of Palestinian security agencies in targeting and "insulting" an event attended by Palestinian families, while Palestinian leadership took part in Israel's Herzliya Conference.

The conference, which describes itself as “Israel’s primary global policy annual gathering,” was reportedly attended by PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani, as well as other Palestinian and Arab speakers. Palestinian leftist and writer Khaled Barakat slammed Majdalani's participation in the "Zionist racist project" as constituting part of a wider trend of "normalization" with Israeli authorities.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee also reportedly condemned Palestinian leadership following Majdalani's attendance of the event, slamming it as indicative of the PA's ongoing security coordination with Israel at the expense of the rights of Palestinian civilians.

Palestinian factions in the past have accused the PA of a "revolving door policy" that funnels Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons as part of “escalating security collaboration” with the Israeli authorities.
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