Palestinian forces reach agreement with militiamen in Nablus after latest clashes

Palestinian security forces have reached an agreement with militiamen operating in the West Bank city of Nablus to end incidents late Monday following the arrest of two members of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) by Palestinian police.

The agreement, reached through a committee of Palestinian factions, calls for Palestinian security forces to stop arresting suspects wanted by Israel unless they have violated Palestinian law, while the authorities have pledged to release one of the detainees during the day on Monday.

The authorities will also proceed to release those detained during the riots between Monday and Tuesday, unless they are responsible for looting or property damage, while declining to open legal proceedings against them, as reported by the Palestinian Maan news agency.

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The clashes, which resulted in the death of one Palestinian, erupted following the arrest of two Hamas members wanted by Israeli authorities. The detainees are Musab Shtaye and Mohamad Tabila, considered by Israel as prime targets following the death last month of Ibrahim Nabulsi, commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — armed wing of Fatah — during an operation in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority maintains security ties with Israel and they sometimes collaborate in counter-terrorism operations, although they have been damaged by what Palestinian officials see as unilateral steps by the Israeli government to undermine the peace process, including settlement expansion.

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Thus, the operation in Nablus took place after Israeli authorities accused Palestinian authorities of failing to take action against militiamen in the West Bank, following increased operations over the past few months, which have led to increased tensions and violence in the area.

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