Israeli forces killed four people yesterday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, including two teens and a man said to be a senior commander.
The latest violence comes two days after a truce halted deadly conflict between the Israeli military and Islamic Jihad in the coastal Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and as Israeli forces continue months of at times deadly raids in the West Bank.
Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was killed in the city of Nablus. Another man who was staying in the house also died. A 16-year-old was also killed in Nablus, and the Palestinian health ministry later said a 17-year-old had been shot dead in the flashpoint southern city of Hebron. In the old city of Nablus, an AFP correspondent reported Palestinians trading gunfire with Israeli security forces. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said its medics treated 69 people for gunshot wounds across the Nablus area, at least four of them in critical condition.
Nabulsi was a commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, one of the main groups present in the West Bank operating under the ruling Fatah party. Following the deadly raid, the group said “the response will fit the crime”. Hundreds of mourners gathered in Nablus for the funeral procession of the three dead.
The Palestinian health ministry identified those killed as Nabulsi, Islam Sabbouh and Hussein Taha. Jamal Taha said his 16-year-old son was killed while they were walking to work. “The army was in the old city. My son went ahead of me to the market, he was carrying his food. There was shooting and four of us were injured,” he told AFP. Later Tuesday, the Palestinian health ministry said 17-year-old Moamen Jaber was shot in the chest and killed by Israeli forces in Hebron. An AFP photographer saw the teen’s body at a local hospital following clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.
In Nablus, heavy gunfire was heard as dozens of Israeli military vehicles brought traffic in one of the West Bank’s largest cities to a standstill.
Clashes with the Israeli army also broke out in other parts of the city, as Palestinians hurled stones at the troops. Security forces have conducted near-daily and often deadly operations in the West Bank in recent months, focusing the Islamic Jihad group.
An Egypt-brokered ceasefire reached Sunday ended three days of intense fighting that killed 46 Palestinians, 16 of them children, and wounded 360, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Israel’s Lapid spoke by telephone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday, with the premier praising Cairo for its role in “preserving regional stability and security”. But following the Nablus raid, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Israel is “not interested in calm and stability”. “It’s exploiting and killing Palestinians for gains in internal Israeli politics,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, alluding to a snap Israeli general election called for November 1. Islamic Jihad said 12 of its members had been killed, including commanders Taysir al-Jabari and Khaled Mansour.
Mother of Palestinian Moamen Yassin Jaber reacts after the 17-year-old was announced dead at al-Ahli hospital in the southern city of Hebron following clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.