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Palestinians crackdown on crime in West Bank

December 2, 2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian security official says hundreds of troops are fanning out across the West Bank city of Nablus in a crackdown on drugs and weapons.

The official said Monday that Palestinian forces have begun raiding houses in the city and refugee camps. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media. He blamed the lawlessness on what he said were bleak job prospects.

He said there has been an increase in weapons offenses and drug crimes. He said arrests were made but would not elaborate. The campaign in Nablus follows one in Jenin, also in the West Bank, in October.

A decade ago, Jenin and Nablus were strongholds of armed gangs, but the Palestinian government has mostly gained control in recent years.

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