Nablus, Occupied West Bank, Palestine – At least 11 Palestinians were killed on Feb. 22, 2023, in a large Israeli army incursion into the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Three of the dead were elderly and one was a child. More than 100 were injured by live bullets and six reported in critical to very critical condition, according to the Ministry of Health.
The raid was one of the largest and deadliest in decades and featured over 150 Israeli soldiers and dozens of military vehicles. Last month, an Israeli raid on the Jenin Refugee Camp killed 10 Palestinians.
Israeli forces have killed over 65 Palestinians in the first two months of the year, putting this year on course to be one of the deadliest in many years as the far-right Israeli government is now in control. Over 171 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank last year by Israeli forces.
The Health Ministry identified the 11 victims as; Adnan Sabe’ Baara (72), Anan Showkat Annab (66), Abdulhadi Abdul Aziz Ashqar (61), Tamer Nimr Minawi (33), Mohammad Khaled Anbousi, 25, Musab Munir Owais (26), Hossam Bassam Isleem (24), and Mohammad Abdulghani (23), Waleed Riyad Dakheel (23), and Jaser Jamil Qan’eer (23), and Mohammad Farid Shaaban (16).
All except 66-year-old Annab — who died from gas inhalation — were killed by Israeli army gunfire while 102 others were injured from live bullet wounds and admitted to Nablus hospitals, six said to be in critical to very critical condition. Two journalists were also shot by live bullets as they covered the army incursion.
“I was here and undercover special forces stormed Nablus at night, taking control of a place for the army later. At nine o’clock in the morning, people say, the army stormed Nablus and besieged the youth. There was heavy shooting and we couldn’t look from the windows or from the door, and they were shooting directly at each other.”Nablus resident and eyewitness to the raid
The large army force raided the Old City of Nablus at peak business hours while students were in school, and surrounded a house, shooting in all directions.
Residents confronted the soldiers, who, in addition to firing live bullets, fired tear gas and sound bombs at the homes and shops causing many suffocation cases in the densely populated Old City.
The Red Crescent in Nablus said the Israeli army prevented its ambulances from reaching and evacuating the wounded in the old city.
“This is a war of aggression by the extreme right-wing racist government against Palestinian people to impose a new reality and a policy of killing Palestinian people.”Nasr Abu Jaish, head of the Factional Coordination Committee of Nablus
A New York Times visual investigation (link with no paywall) into the raid provided evidence of destructive and reckless maneuvers by Israeli military vehicles and several Palestinians killed, including at least four people killed by Israeli forces that posed no threat.
Young Palestinians in Nablus are becoming more militant in response to deadly near-daily Israeli raids. Some build barricades, some throw rocks, and some are armed. Called resistance fighters against the occupational forces by Palestinians and terrorists by Israeli forces, young fighters are less frequently giving up themselves for arrest and more frequently fighting to the death.
Members of Lions’ Den, or “Areen al-Usud” one of the more popular militant groups among young Palestinians, was reportedly the target of the raid. Last Fall, Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, the ‘Lion of Nablus,’ maybe the most popular resistance fighter in the last decade, was killed in an Israeli raid on the Old City after evading capture in several earlier raids.
In October, Israeli forces besieged Nablus for over three weeks in an act of collective punishment on the 420,000 residents in the area as they sought the elimination of prominent armed militants from the Lions’ Den.
Nablus Siege Lifted After 3+ Weeks of Collective Punishment – Nov. 10, 2022
Over 2,200 Israeli Raids Killed 140 Palestinians Thus Far in 2022 – Sept. 13, 2022
Occupation Forces Repress Palestinians Fighting Land Grabs in the Northwestern West Bank – July 29, 2022
Israeli Raid on Nablus Kills Two Palestinians and Wounds Many – July 25, 2022
Tens of Thousands Mourn ‘Martyrs’ in Nablus
Large crowds packed the streets for funeral prayers for those killed. Funeral processions departed from Rafidia Hospital to Martyrs’ Circle. The families of the fallen were given their last looks from the Old City and the Balata and Askar camps, before they were buried in the western and eastern cemeteries in Nablus.
The funeral was attended by the mothers of the ‘martyrs’, who carried the bodies of their sons, amid an atmosphere of sadness, anger, and chants demanding revenge for the crimes of the occupation.
The mourners chanted slogans glorifying the ‘heroism’ of the killed, saluting the armed resistance, the al-Qassam Brigades, the al-Quds Brigades and the Lions’ Den.
A strike was held across the West Bank the next day.
Israeli Settlers Killed, Settlers Attack and Burn Palestinian Property in Huwara
After the deadly raid, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis on a West Bank roadway setting off an a violent race riot against Palestinian and Muslim families in Huwara, just south of Nablus. Israeli settlers killed a man and set the homes, cars, and property of Palestinians on fire in retaliation. Nearly 400 Palestinians were injured, at least 30 homes and over 100 cars were burned. Eight settlers were arrested after the attack and all were released. Attacks from both sides have continued into the week.
Hundreds of settlers rioting around the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Hawwara. Houses torched, some with families inside, Dozens of cars burnt, businesses burst into, ambulances and fire fighters pelted with stones, shouts of “Revenge” – and the night is yet young.— Alon-Lee Green – ألون-لي جرين – אלון-לי גרין 🟣 (@AlonLeeGreen) February 26, 2023
Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in colony settlements in the West Bank which has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Almost three million Palestinians live in the West Bank. Israelis who live in the West Bank are allowed to vote and participate in Israel’s political system, but West Bank Palestinians are not. A newly released U.S. State Department report, which reviewed counterterrorism and human rights trends, said “Israeli security personnel often did not prevent settler attacks and rarely detained or charged perpetrators of settler violence.”
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