West News Wire: An Israeli army raid in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank resulted in at least 10 Palestinian killings and numerous injuries.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, 102 persons were injured on Wednesday, 82 of whom were hit by live ammunition. Six people were in serious condition.
Soon after the army invaded Nablus at 10 am with hundreds of armored vehicles and special troops, there were numerous clashes (08:00 GMT).
Before surrounding a residence where two wanted Palestinian rebels, Hossam Isleem and Mohammad Abdulghani, who were both killed, lived, the army closed off all city gates.
Together with the recently revealed Balata Brigades, the Lions’ Den armed group claimed in a statement that it participated in combat with Israeli forces during the operation. Young Palestinians pelted armoured troop transports with rocks.
The Israeli army said “security forces are now operating in the city of Nablus” but did not provide further details.
Nablus and nearby Jenin have been the focus of violent incursions that Israel has intensified over the last year. The cities are where “the concentration of armed resistance is growing”, according to Palestinian journalist Mariam Barghouti of the news site Mondoweiss.
“Even though it is expanding to other areas of the West Bank, the Lion’s Den and the Jenin Brigade continue to be the epicentre of Palestinian armed resistance and new youth groups fighting, which is why they have become a target,” Barghouti told news channels.
In the Old City of Nablus, people stared at the rubble that had been a large home with nearby shops riddled with bullet holes. Parked cars were crushed. Blood stained the cement and furniture from the destroyed home was scattered among mounds of debris.
In the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the governing Hamas party issued a veiled threat. “The resistance in Gaza is observing the enemy’s escalating crimes against our people in the occupied West Bank, and its patience is running out,” said Abu Obeida.
Palestinian political parties announced a general strike in the cities of Ramallah and Nablus on Wednesday in response, calling on Palestinians to come out in protest near Israeli army checkpoints.
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of 2023 has now risen to 61 people, including 13 children, in the occupied territories.
“We condemn the occupation’s raid into Nablus and we call for an end to the continued attacks against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
An amateur video posted online showed two young men running down a street. Gunshots are heard and both fall to the ground with one’s hat flying off his head. Both bodies remained still.
Civilians confronting the Israeli army during raids and uninvolved bystanders have also been killed, as well as Palestinian fighters in targeted assassinations and during armed clashes.
Israel stepped up its military raids, arrests and killings in Palestinian cities and villages in the occupied West Bank from June 2021, following a popular Palestinian uprising known as the “May outburst” that swept Israel and the Palestinian territories it has illegally occupied since 1967.
In March 2022, following a series of individual Palestinian attacks inside Israel, the Israeli army launched a military campaign that led to 2022 being marked by the United Nations as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006.
Some 171 Palestinians, including more than 30 children, were killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank last year.
The likelihood of a rapid escalation in violence was increased by the Israeli incursion and high death toll. Following a raid last month, a deadly assault occurred outside a synagogue in Jerusalem.
The violence on Wednesday, according to reporters from West Jerusalem, is a result of routine Israeli raids taking place in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
It is a component of the current right-wing, ultranationalist Israeli government’s program, which also includes the widespread demolition of Palestinian homes.
It claimed that following a recent attack on a synagogue, “they are coming in hard.”
In the Middle East war of 1967, Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which the Palestinians want for an independent state. Discussions for a Palestinian state have been stalled for almost a decade.