During the last ten years, especially after signing the Oslo Agreement and the transfer of authority to the Palestinian side, the Palestinian cities, including Nablus city, have shown a distinct physical expansion and an increase in population numbers and migration size. This expansion was directly reflected on the social, economic and cultural aspects in most of these cities. Comparatively, this physical expansion as well as the economic and cultural prosperity have certain negative impacts on the both the security and social conditions, through the appearance of some crimes and other negative issues like use of drugs and behavioral disorder. The major aim of this thesis is to study and analyze the patterns and causes of such economic and social problems, including crimes in the Palestinian cities in general and in Nablus city in particular. Also, it aims at studying the significance and role of urban security in preventing these crimes.
To achieve this aim, the concepts concerning urban security and crime, in addition to the theoretical approaches in explaining crime and behavioral disorder were studied. Moreover, the current situation of crime in the West Bank in general and in Nablus city in particular was studied and analyzed based on the available statistics at the concerned security departments. The methodology of the thesis was based on both the descriptive and analytical methods as well as on the results of the questionnaire distributed to a selected sample of the districts of Nablus city, and covered a number of questions to determine the degree of security feeling for the city’s inhabitants. The results of the study have indicated the significance of the political and security factors in the currently existed insecure conditions in the Palestinian territories as a whole and in Nablus city in particular.
This is mostly due to the continuous Israeli occupation and the negative results of the political process as well as the results that accompanied the 2nd Intifada, including the increase in unemployment and poverty rates, the destruction of the bases of the national economy, and the increased destructive measures in terms of barriers, check points, and the separation wall. In addition, the study has indicated the contribution of the internal environment of Nablus city as well as its physical context and economic life in the increase of crime rates in certain areas or districts, especially the areas defined as poor or slum areas, which are characterized with high population density and condense houses, in addition to the areas that have a large diversity among the inhabitants.
The study has recommended the necessity of enhancing the role of the ministries and governmental institutions involved in security issues, such as the ministries of Justice, Education, and Interior with its related security departments. Also, the study has emphasized the importance of determining priorities in security issues for the community and the role of awareness in these issues. Finally, the study recommended the establishment of a specialized scientific center in the field of undertaking studies and researches, providing information, conducting awareness programs on crime and behavioral disorder, and proposing strategic plans to prevent crimes and disorder and achieve security for the society.