Israeli forces ‘mercilessly’ kill 10 Palestinians in a raid on Nablus

Dozens of Palestinians have been wounded by live fire and taken to hospital due to the violent Israeli incursion in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

The deadly Israeli operation has prompted reaction from Hamas military leader, who warned that patience of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza is ‘wearing thin’.

At least 10 Palestinians have been killed and dozens wounded in an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. At least 102 people were injured today, Wednesday, where 82 of them were hit by live ammunition, according to the Palestinian health ministry, with six in critical conditions.

During the military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians, including a child and two elderly people, and wounded more than 100 others on Wednesday.

More than 60 Israeli military vehicles stormed Nablus at around 10am local time after an undercover force was spotted in the historic Old City, eyewitnesses told Middle East Eye.

Nablus resident Nabeela Suliman was walking in a market with her daughter when she heard the sounds of explosions and people started shouting that a major Israeli incursion had started.

“It was very scary… We could hear the sounds of explosions and people screaming in the street, and many of us started crying and praying to God to protect the city and its residents,” Suliman reportedly said.

The raid focused on a building in the city that allegedly housed Palestinian resistance fighters.

Israeli forces besieged the house and fired missiles at the building, while a military helicopter was also spotted flying over the city.

Palestinian media said two fighters – Hussam Bassam Aslim, 24, and Mohammed Omar Abu Bakr, 23 – were inside the house but refused to surrender.

The Israeli military confirmed in a brief statement that it was conducting an operation in the city.

Widespread confrontations soon broke out after the Israeli army stormed Nablus with dozens of armoured vehicles and special forces at 10am.

​The Lions’ Den armed group said in a statement that its fighters were engaging with Israeli forces in armed clashes alongside other armed groups in the city, including the “Balata Brigade”.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, 10 people, including Aslim and Abu Bakr, were killed in the raid.

The pair are reportedly members of Lions’ Den, which has grown in prominence over the past year as deadly Israeli crackdowns in the occupied West Bank have intensified.

The other seven dead named by the ministry are Adnan Sabe Baara, 72, Abd el-Hadi Ashqar, 61, Mohammad Farid Shaban, 16, Tamer Nimr Minwai, 33, Mohamed Khaled Anbousi, 25, Mosaab Muneer Owais, 26, Waleed Riad Dakheel, 23, and Jaser Jameel Qenaer, 23. 

The deadly raid has prompted an immediate reaction from Abu Obaida, the spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who usually makes public statements at a time of war.

“The Palestinian resistance in Gaza is closely monitoring the Israeli occupation’s repeated crimes against the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank and its patience is wearing thin,” Abu Obaida said.

Palestinian factions strongly condemned the raid, calling it a “barbaric massacre”, and said they held Israel responsible for the consequences. 

Eyewitness Ibtihal Mansour said that once the undercover force was spotted in the city, the military immediately sent reinforcements and started firing live bullets, teargas and sound bombs.

Suliman said she quickly hid in a shop when Israeli forces began firing live rounds. Dozens of Palestinians choked on the teargas, most of them women and children, but ambulance crews were blocked from reaching them, she added.

“The Israeli incursion took place at peak time when the area was most crowded as it is located in the centre of the city, and is considered the living nerve of old Nablus,” Mansour said.

Mansour painted a shocking picture of what unfolded on the ground, with the bodies of the wounded and dead strewn across the street, their wounds concentrated on the upper half of their body, mainly the head and chest. First aid responders were unable to approach wounded people lying in the street, with many bleeding out, she added.

“My three children are in school and I cannot reach them to take them home. I am very worried about them, because with every incursion the Israeli soldiers start shooting mercilessly towards anyone who moves,” Mansour said, in tears.

A similar Israeli raid in neighbouring Jenin took place late last month, in which 10 Palestinians were killed. Many Palestinians say such large operations during the day are reminiscent of Israeli violence during the Second Intifada.

Israeli forces have killed 60 Palestinians this year, at a rate of more than one fatality per day. It follows an increase in violence recorded in 2022, with at least 167 Palestinians killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in those territories in a single year since the Second Intifada.

Meanwhile, Palestinians killed 30 Israelis last year and 10 this year.

UN experts previously condemned Israel for the record levels of violence in 2022 and warned that an even higher number of casualties could be recorded this year.

Wednesday’s Israeli incursion and high death toll heightened the chance of a sharp escalation in violence. A raid last month was followed by a deadly attack outside a Jerusalem synagogue.

Sara Khairat, a reporter to Al Jazeera said the violence is part of systematic Israeli raids happening in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. Along with the rampant demolition of Palestinian homes, it is part of a policy of the new right-wing, ultranationalist Israeli government.

“They are coming in hard … especially with a recent attack that targeted a synagogue,” she said of the far-right Israeli leadership.

The US Central Intelligence Agency director, William Burns, warned earlier this month that current tensions bear an “unhappy resemblance” to the Second Intifada and efforts to prevent “explosions of violence” are a challenge.