Gaza protests over Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Nablus

Maram Humaid

Al-Jazeera  /  February 10, 2022

Protesters in Gaza City condemn the killing of three Palestinians in Nablus and slam the PA over security cooperation with Israel.

Gaza City Palestinian factions in Gaza have held a mourning march for three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, with protesters condemning the killings as a “crime” and criticizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) for cooperating with Israel on security.

Dozens of people took part in the march in central Gaza City on Wednesday, a day after Israeli forces in a civilian vehicle reportedly opened fire on a car in the Nablus’s al-Makhfieh neighbourhood, killing three Palestinians identified as Ashraf Mubaslat, Adham Mabrouka and Muhammad Dakhil.

Ismail Radwan, a spokesman for the Palestinian group Hamas, which controls Gaza, described the killings as adding “to the record of Israeli crimes”.

“We will not stay silent and we call on our people in the West Bank to continue resisting the occupation in all forms in response to this crime,” he told Al-Jazeera at the march.

Radwan said the march in Gaza shows the unity of Palestinian people, but he criticized the Fatah-led PA, which administers parts of the West Bank and cooperates with Israel on security.

“We tell the Palestinian Authority this incident is one of the fruits of the policy of security coordination and meeting with the leaders of the occupation,” Radwan said.

“It is time to review this policy, which only serves the Israeli occupation.”

The PA has condemned the killings as a “heinous crime” and called for an international investigation.

Some at the march criticized a meeting this week of the Palestinian Central Council, the second-highest decision-making body in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – the internationally recognized representative of Palestinians, which is led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The two-day meeting that began on Monday was boycotted by several Palestinian factions as they accused the council of seeking to exclude other groups and filling top PA leadership positions with Abbas loyalists.

“The Israeli enemy killed the three martyrs before even writing the final statement of the PLO’s Central Council meeting,” Khaled al-Batsh, a senior member in the Islamic Jihad movement, told Al-Jazeera.

“The only way to deter the Israeli enemy is resistance, not negotiations, and what happened yesterday proves that.”

Maher al-Afifi, one of the protesters, condemned the international community for failing to criticize Israel’s “cowardly assassination crime” and the wider occupation.

“On a daily basis, there are Israeli attacks by soldiers and settlers against our people in the West Bank,” he said.

“The home demolitions, settlement activity continue without restraint and amid suspicious silence of the international community.”

Iyad Fanouna, a former prisoner of Israel who was freed in a 2010 swap deal, told Al-Jazeera Israel would not be able to undermine Palestinian solidarity and unity.

“We are all under the Israeli occupation, and we are united with our people in Nablus in this painful incident,” he said.

Maram Humaid is a Palestinian journalist and storyteller from the Gaza Strip