Twenty families from a large Palestinian clan in the southern West Bank city of Yatta were expelled after the Palestinian Authority and local mediators approved a form of traditional justice. The mediation resulted in the families being exiled to a community near Jenin, with many on social media condemning the result as an injustice.
On September 8, a Palestinian man was killed and three were injured, including a young woman, during a gun battle in Yatta. Twenty-five-year-old Taher Ahmed Khalil Shannaran was slain, according to police spokesman Louay Arzikat.
Palestinian media reports said Palestinian police investigated the incident and Palestinian Security Forces were deployed in the city to prevent further violence between the two feuding families. "They called on citizens to exercise restraint and to encourage dialogue rather than violence," according to a report from Ma'an News Agency.
Local leaders also sought to stop the spread of rumors on social media sites. Rateb al-Jabour, Coordinator of the Popular and National Committees in southern Hebron told local media that houses were burned and gun battles between the families were reported.
The city remained "tense" and security forces patrolled areas to "maintain order," according to reports. Video posted online on September 8 included more than a minute with the sound of constant gunfire. A large funeral took place the following day for the victim and hundreds from Yatta turned out. Facebook groups and other media widely reported the incident last week. The focus soon turned to the Abu Malash clan and a form of traditional jurisprudence argued they should leave Yatta to prevent further violence between them and the victim's family. Photos posted online showed members of the family packing up their things in preparation to leave.
Seth Frantzman is The Jerusalem Post's op-ed editor, a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a founder of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.