Israeli troops killed 11 Palestinians, including at least four gunmen and four civilians, and wounded more than 100 people during a Wednesday raid on Nablus, a city in the occupied West Bank, witnesses, militant groups, and medical officials reported.
The Israeli military confirmed that it conducted an operation in Nablus, saying that their troops shot back after coming under fire while trying to detain militants suspected of planning imminent attacks. There were no Israeli casualties, the army said in a statement.
Body of one of the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops earlier in Shechem (Nablus). BBC refer to them as “militants”. But this person👇 is a member of the Lions Den, responsible for numerous attacks against Israelis. Others were members of PIJ and Fatah. pic.twitter.com/AuaVLmT3lb
— James J. Marlow (@James_J_Marlow) February 22, 2023
The Palestinian militant faction Islamic Jihad said Israeli troops had surrounded two of its Nablus commanders in a house, triggering a clash that drew in other gunmen. Explosions sounded and youths pelted armored troop transports with rocks.
Palestinian sources said the two Islamic Jihad commanders were killed along with another gunman. The fatalities included four civilians, among them a 72-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy.
Israeli forces clash with Islamic Jihad group in West Bank
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a 66-year-old man who suffered from gas inhalation during the raid died in hospital later on Wednesday. Medical officials said more than 100 Palestinians were wounded.
Nablus and nearby Jenin have been the focus of raids that Israel has intensified over the last year following a spate of lethal Palestinian street attacks, where ten Israelis and a Ukrainian tourist lost their lives.
Sixty-two Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed in 2023, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Action and reaction
Hamas, another Palestinian militant group that sometimes fights alongside Islamic Jihad, said there were four gunmen killed, one from its own ranks, and hinted at possible reprisals from the Gaza Strip, a territory that it controls.
Sirens rang out early on Thursday morning in southern Israeli towns as the military confirmed six rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israeli territory. Shortly afterward, explosions were heard in Gaza and the Israeli military confirmed it was striking targets in Gaza but did not give more details.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sworn to Israel’s destruction.