*Â One person has reportedly been killed during a shootout which was sparked by a Palestinian Authority arrest operation in Kalkilya on Thursday.
According to reports, the death occurred after PA security forces surrounded a house in the hopes of arresting Hamas men who had barricaded themselves inside. There was no word of the identity of the fatality.
The incident came just one day after Hamas’s military wing, Izzadin Kassam urged its members in the West Bank to open fire at any PA policeman who tries to arrest them.
Abu Obaidah, a spokesman for Izzadin Kassam, warned Abbas’s security forces on Wednesday against repeating another fatal arrest operation in the city days before. “Our men will resist any attempt to arrest them by Abbas’s treacherous forces because they are working on behalf of the Zionist enemy,” he said. “We don’t trust these forces, nor do our people.”
Meanwhile, PA security sources said on Wednesday that the two Hamas militiamen killed earlier this week by Palestinian Authority policemen in Kalkilya initially used a local woman as a human shield during the seven-hour gun battle before she herself threw a grenade at the policemen.
The woman, Amal, is the wife of Abdel Nasser al-Basha, the owner of the house where the two Hamas men, Muhammad Samman and Muhammad Yassin, had been hiding.
The sources claimed that an investigation by the PA security forces into Sunday’s bloody standoff showed that the three PA security officers who died were killed by a hand grenade that the woman lobbed at them as they tried to enter the house.
“The Hamas gunmen were hiding behind the woman, who surprised the police officers by throwing a hand grenade at them,” the sources told The Jerusalem Post. “This is not the first time that Hamas has used women or children as human shields.”
- Indeed. That’s what they do. All the time…
The three officers were killed in the initial stages of the raid that was carried out by PA security forces on the house, the inquiry revealed. Their bodies lay inside the house until the operation ended seven hours later.
Amal’s husband was also killed during the shootout. She is reported to have been seriously wounded, with doctors forced to amputate her right arm.
Amal has been placed under arrest at the Kalkilya hospital where she is being treated, eyewitnesses said.
A PA security official said that the woman would be charged with killing the three police officers. “She will be put on trial,” he said. “She could face the death sentence if convicted.
Meanwhile, sources in Tulkarm told the Post that security forces loyal to PA President Mahmoud Abbas arrested more than 30 Hamas supporters in the city over the past 48 hours
The sources said that the arrests were carried out in the context of the PA security forces’ efforts to track down Muhammad Kharyoush, the local commander of Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, who has long been wanted by Israel for his involvement in terrorism
The PA security forces also summoned dozens of Islamic preachers and school teachers affiliated with Hamas in the northern West Bank and warned them against inciting against the PA, the sources added.