Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Violence Erupts In Israel: Hamas Warns It's 'Losing Patience' After 9 Killed, 97 Injured In Nablus

Hamas's military spokesman, Abu Obeida, warned that the factions in the Gaza Strip are "losing patience" after 10 Palestinians were killed and over 100 others were injured in armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Nablus on Wednesday. Leaders in the local branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other local terrorist groups were among those killed.

Israeli forces, including the Border Police's Yamam counterterrorism unit, Shin Bet officers and IDF soldiers, entered the city to arrest three terrorists involved in the planning of shooting attacks intended for the near future and the shooting attack in which IDF St.-Sgt. Ido Baruch was murdered in October, along with other attacks against Israeli forces.

Baruch, a soldier in the Givati Brigade, was shot by terrorists near the Shavei Shomron settlement in Samaria on October 11. Two other members of the cell that murdered Baruch were arrested by the IDF last week.

After surrounding the building where the terrorists were hiding, armed clashes broke out during which the three terrorists were shot and killed. Other armed Palestinians who fired at Israeli forces and threw explosives and Molotov cocktails at them were shot during the clashes as well, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The three wanted terrorists were identified by the IDF as Muhammad Fatah, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Walid Dakhil, a member of the Lions' Den terrorist group, and Hussam Aslim, one of the leaders of the Lions' Den group. Aslim gave the order to the two terrorists arrested last week to conduct the terrorist attack in which Baruch was murdered.

According to Palestinian reports, Aslim was also a member of Hamas.

Explosions and heavy gunfire were heard in the area. The local branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades announced that it was taking part in the clashes. Mosques in the city broadcasted messages calling on the residents of the city to clash with Israeli forces.

"The resistance in Gaza is watching the enemy's escalating crimes against our people in the occupied West Bank, and its patience is running out," warned the spokesman of Hamas's Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida.

On Wednesday afternoon, Palestinians began burning tires near the Israeli border in the Malaka Camp east of Gaza City, according to Palestinian reports.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem condemned the raid, stating "The occupation escalates its aggression against our people by storming today the city of Nablus and besieging the citizens."

"The right-wing, fascist, Zionist government is concerned with escalating the situation on the ground, as it has a criminal terrorist agenda," added Qassem.

Palestinians say 10 killed, 102 hurt in Nablus clashes between gunmen, Israeli forces

Ten Palestinians were reported killed as heavy gun battles broke out between Israeli forces and gunmen Wednesday in Nablus after the military said troops were operating in the northern West Bank city.

The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said that in addition to 10 people confirmed dead, 102 Palestinians were hurt in the clashes, seven of them seriously. It did not specify the involvement among those killed and wounded.

The ministry listed the ages of those killed as 72, 61, 33, 26, 25, 24, 23, 23, 23 and 16.

There was no immediate statement from the Israel Defense Forces, beyond the earlier general announcement that an operation was underway.

According to the Palestinians, soldiers surrounded a home where three suspects, members of the Lion’s Den terror group, were holed up, demanding they turn themselves in. The suspects refused to do so and began shooting from the home, prompting the soldiers to return fire. The troops also shot missiles at the building, which was destroyed.

Two of the suspects were killed inside the building, while the third tried to escape.

Soldiers later found a weapons cache in the building.

Reports named two of the suspects as Husam Isleem and Muhammed al-Junaidi, who was also Islamic Jihad’s military commander in Nablus, both of whom were reportedly killed.

One of the suspects was allegedly the third member of a cell that killed Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch during a shooting attack in October. The other two had been previously arrested.

“The resistance in Gaza is watching the enemy’s escalating crimes against our people,” Abu Obeida, spokesman of the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group’s military wing, said in a statement.

No Israeli troops were hurt in Wednesday’s raid, which came after a similar daytime operation in Jenin last month when nine Palestinians, including an elderly woman, were killed amid fierce clashes between Israeli troops and gunmen.

That raid was met with international expressions of concern and Palestinian calls for outside intervention. A day later, seven people were shot dead in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood in the deadliest Palestinian terror attack since 2008.

For the past year, the IDF has been conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of Palestinian terror attacks that killed 32 people in 2022, and another 11 since the beginning of the year.

The IDF’s year-long operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. 171 Palestinians were killed in 2022, and another 49 have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.

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