A Palestinian Authority (PA) security officer was shot dead in clashes with gunmen believed to be affiliated to Hamas in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.What exactly is the difference between bringing a relative of the fighters to a violent clash - while Hamas is shooting at the PA and a couple of days after Hamas killed 3 PA officers - and the use of "human shields"?
According to Ma’an’s correspondent in the city, PA forces have surrounded Hamas men stationed inside a building in the vicinity of the local Bank of Palestine branch.
Witnesses said that one of the PA security members was killed when a Hamas fighter threw a grenade at him.
Qalqiliya Governor Rabih Al-Khandaqji said that the armed men are hiding in a bunker inside the building, confirming that the PA officer was killed when he reached the bunker. He added that the PA brought the mother and the brother of one of the Al-Qassam Brigades members to the building to convince him to surrender peacefully.
So far this week, in the West Bank, the score is Hamas 4, PA 2, with one (Hamas-member) civilian killed. And it appears that today's clash isn't over. All that highly touted American-funded training of our moderate friends in the PA is sure paying off!
Hamas had threatened to violently take over the West Bank last July, in a story that no one else seems to have noticed.
UPDATE: Of course, Hamas uses human shields too:
Meanwhile, PA security sources said on Wednesday that the two Hamas militiamen killed earlier this week by Palestinian Authority policemen in Kalkilya initially used a local woman as a human shield during the seven-hour gun battle before she herself threw a grenade at the policemen.
The woman, Amal, is the wife of Abdel Nasser al-Basha, the owner of the house where the two Hamas men, Muhammad Samman and Muhammad Yassin, had been hiding.
The sources claimed that an investigation by the PA security forces into Sunday's bloody standoff showed that the three PA security officers who died were killed by a hand grenade that the woman lobbed at them as they tried to enter the house.
"The Hamas gunmen were hiding behind the woman, who surprised the police officers by throwing a hand grenade at them," the sources told The Jerusalem Post. "This is not the first time that Hamas has used women or children as human shields."