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The West Bank's growing gun problem

Faced with an alarming arms proliferation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed his security forces to strike with an "iron fist" to prevent further bloodshed that could plunge the West Bank into complete security chaos.
Palestinian teenagers handle a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem January 4, 2001. The Dheisheh refugee camp hosts thousands of Palestinian refugees since the 1948 Israeli occupation. [Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat began consulting Arab leaders in Cairo on Thursday on U.S. President Bill Clinton's peace proposals before announcing whether he accepts them.   ] - RTXK7RJ
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The West Bank suffered through a bloody week, with six deaths in a few days. On June 29, three people were killed and 13 wounded in a shooting in Yaabad in Jenin province in the northern West Bank over a family dispute. On that same day, fugitives in Nablus shot two police officers dead, while the sixth victim was killed during another family quarrel in the Shuafat refugee camp on July 1.

Dozens of the quarrels that have taken place in the cities, villages and camps of the West Bank were characterized by the use of weapons by civilians. Fired on celebrations or during family quarrels, intermittent gunshots are heard almost every night in the West Bank, raising concerns about lawlessness amid the security forces’ inability to confiscate arms.

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