Armed clashes erupted between the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and members of local armed terror groups on the streets of Jenin Tuesday night.
The fighting broke out in reaction to the PA’s arrest of two gunmen in the West Bank town of Jaba’, some 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Jenin, according to the Hamas-affiliated news website Shehab.
Following the arrests, armed assailants reportedly attacked the headquarters of the Jenin governorate, the local seat of the PA administration, prompting clashes with the PA security forces. The confrontation then moved to the Jenin refugee camp, where the PA forces opened fire and threw tear gas at the gunmen, storming into the local hospital, according to videos circulating on social media.
The clashes signal an escalating conflict between President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and local Islamist factions in the Jenin area, most prominently the Jenin Battalion, the local branch of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
A month ago, the Israeli military carried out a large-scale two-day operation in the Jenin refugee camp to dismantle the terrorist networks operating there and to seize weapons.