JERUSALEM – The Israeli military killed three Palestinian gunmen and wounded dozens in a shooting that broke out during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday.
The shooting came a day after a ceasefire ended three days of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian jihadist group in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli police say security forces have surrounded the home of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, who they say is wanted for a series of shootings in the West Bank earlier this year. They confirmed that al-Nabulsi and another Palestinian fighter were killed in a shootout at the scene, and that the army found weapons and explosives in his home.
The Israeli military said it was attacked by Palestinians hurling stones and explosives, and soldiers responded with live ammunition. It confirmed the Palestinians had been shot, but did not elaborate on their status.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said three people were killed – al-Nabulsi, Islam Sabouh and Hussein Jamal Taha – and at least 40 were injured.
The armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, later declared the three as its members and vowed to retaliate. The Fatah Party said the organization “mourages its martyred sons” and says the three “sacrifice their lives to protect our greats and our freedom and independence.” their establishment.”
Israel has been conducting nightly arrest raids in the West Bank in recent months as part of a campaign to crack down on Palestinian militant groups, primarily the Islamic Jihad, after a series of attacks. attacks on Israelis earlier this year, leaving 19 dead. Dozens of Palestinians were killed in clashes with the Israeli army during these raids.
Last week, Israel captured Bassam al-Saadi, a high-ranking jihadist in the West Bank city of Jenin, in one of its nightly operations. The group said it was “on alert” and on Friday Israel launched a series of attacks on jihadist targets in the Gaza Strip in what it said was a response to “imminent threat” of the militant group.
During three days of fighting in Gaza, at least 46 Palestinians were killed, including 16 children and four women, and 311 were injured, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. According to armed factions, 12 of those killed were jihadists, one from a smaller armed group, and two from Hamas police, who were not involved in the fighting. .
Israel estimates that a total of 47 Palestinians were killed, 14 of whom were killed by mistakenly firing an Islamic Jihad missile. It said 20 militants and seven civilians had died in Israeli air strikes and that it was still investigating six deaths.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, welcomed the cooperation of Israeli security officers and said that the killing of al-Nabulsi “is another step in our uncompromising struggle against terrorism.” .
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh warned that continued violence could flare up the region further, accusing the Israeli government of shedding Palestinian blood to secure internal political capital ahead of the election. parliamentary elections in November.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and Palestinians see it as the center of their future state. Israel considers the West Bank to be the historical and biblical center of the Jewish people, and has built dozens of settlements, now home to more than 400,000 Israelis.
Palestinians and much of the international community view Israel’s West Bank settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the decades-long conflict.