Shots Fired at Palestinian Authority Headquarters in Jenin After Arrests

One of the three arrested includes the son of Zakaria Zubeidi, who escaped from Gilboa prison in September, as footage of the arrest caused dozens of gunmen to take to the streets

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Gunmen hold a poster of Zakaria Zubeidi at an impromptu press conference in the Jenin refugee camp, in the West Bank, early Saturday morning.
Gunmen hold a poster of Zakaria Zubeidi at an impromptu press conference in the Jenin refugee camp, in the West Bank, early Saturday morning.
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Gunmen opened fire at the Palestinian Authority's headquarters in the West Bank city of Jenin Friday night, after the PA's arrest of three Palestinians. The detainees were freed after the incident. 

Palestinian security officials in Jenin said that the three men had been arrested for illegal weapon ownership. One of the detainees was Muhammad Zubeidi, son of Zakaria Zubeidi, who escaped from Gilboa prison with five others in September. 

Residents of the city's refugee camp said that the arrests were unjustified and brutal. Footage of the arrest circulated on social media, bringing dozens of young men into the streets of the Jenin refugee camp in protest, some of them armed.

Gunfire was directed at the Muqata building in Jenin, which is the seat of the PA civil administration in the city and houses senior security officials.

At an impromptu press conference, the gunmen – some of them also Fatah members – called on senior PA officials to intervene, in order to prevent further escalation between armed men in the camp and PA security forces.  

The Jenin refugee camp press conference, early Saturday morning.

Following the violent clashes and the intervention of PA officials and security figures in Ramallah and Jenin, the detainees, including Zubeidi, were released from custody.       

Previous incidents of shooting at the Jenin Muqata around a month ago occurred after the PA made arrests in the refugee camp in an attempt at reducing the proliferation of weapons in the area. 

The most recent events, however, are exceptional as Palestinian Authority officials from Ramallah have been working with activists in the refugee camp in an attempt to calm the area.

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