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Palestinians Demonstrate Against Violence (AP) By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH NABLUS, West Bank 07/17/03 2:23 PM) Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6146-2003Jul17.html
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NABLUS, West Bank - Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in Nablus against violence by armed men after gunmen shot and killed a young mother and a teenager died in an explosion.
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Demonstrations against fellow Palestinians are rare in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, though marches and rallies protesting Israeli occupation take place almost daily.
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About 500 people rallied in downtown Nablus, demanding an end to the virtual immunity from prosecution or punishment for crimes ranging from robbery to murder.
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The violence came to a head on Wednesday.
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Three gunmen went into a pharmacy to abduct another man. On the way out, witnesses said, one of the gunmen fired randomly on the street, killing Amnah Abu Hiljah, 36, who was holding her 2- month-old baby.
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In the second incident, a 14-year-old boy was killed when a bomb he was playing with exploded, security officials said, adding that the device was like those planted on West Bank roads against Israeli vehicles.
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After the woman´s funeral, Palestinians held banners that read, "stop the killers."
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A protester who identified himself only by his first name, Hassan, said: "The people must rise up against them, because all of them are responsible for the mess in this city."
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The governor of the Nablus region, Mahmoud Aloul, said random violence is widespread. He said the Palestinian Authority is weak and some people exploit this to "commit crimes under the title of the national struggle."
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In three years of violence, armed militants have gained strong influence in Nablus and other West Bank cities, especially in places where Israeli raids and restrictions have forced Palestinian police off the streets. (© 2003 The Associated Press 07/17/03)
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