2 PA security officers said shot dead in West Bank clash with Israeli troops

Two officers in the Palestinian Authority’s Military Intelligence unit were reportedly shot dead Wednesday night in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces operating in the northern West Bank.

A third Palestinian was critically wounded in the incident, which began when officers in the Yamam Border Police counterterrorism unit sought to arrest several Palestinian suspects outside the headquarters of the PA Military Intelligence Unit in Jenin, according to Palestinian media.

The Palestinian officers on guard duty outside the compound noticed the arrest operation taking place, with the Israeli forces operating out of a civilian vehicle and chose to engage, reports said.

It was not immediately clear whether the PA officers were aware when they opened fire that those pursuing the Palestinian suspects were Israeli security forces.

A senior commander in the PA security forces told the Palestinian Al Quds news site that the IDF did not warn his soldiers of their Jenin arrest operation ahead of time.

The Yamam officers responded with several rounds of their own resulting in the deaths of Lieutenant Adham Aliwi, 23, and Captain Taysir Issa, 33, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Israeli under-cover unit still managed to carry out two arrests during the operation, according to Palestinian media.

No Israeli troops were injured in the incident, according to unsourced Hebrew media reports.

A spokesperson for Border Police did not immediately return a request for comment.

Typically, Israeli troops coordinate their entry into Palestinian cities with PA security forces in order to allow the latter to draw back and avoid confrontation. However, miscommunications have taken place in the past leading IDF soldiers to mistakenly target PA forces, thinking they are terror operatives.

There have also been instances where individuals in PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces have gone rogue and opened fire at Israeli troops unprovoked.

The overnight incident came less than a month after Israeli soldiers mistakenly opened fire on two PA intelligence officers who they mistook for terrorists as they pulled up to the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank.

Ahmad Daraghme, a resident of the West Bank town of Laban al-Sharqiya near Nablus, was killed at the scene. His colleague Mohammad al-Nubani was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

“The occupation army and settler gangs assassinated security officers of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in cold blood,” the Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Service said in a statement then.

Initially after the shooting, the IDF said it had “foiled” a terror attack and that one of the assailants cocked his weapons at the soldiers leading them to open fire.

Mourners carry Ahmad Daraghme, an officer in the Palestinian Authority intelligence services killed by Israeli soldiers, at his funeral in his home village of Laban al-Sharqiya on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 (WAFA)

After the incident though, it was discovered that Daraghme was unarmed.

An Israeli military spokesperson told The Times of Israel then that it was looking into the incident.

Daraghme’s body was also returned to his family for burial, indicating that the two shooting victims might not be considered terrorists. Israel has a controversial policy of withholding the bodies of Palestinians killed while committing acts of terror.

Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

Source Link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/2-pa-security-force-officers-reportedly-shot-dead-in-clashes-with-israeli-troops/

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