Israeli troops kill 10 Palestinians in West Bank clash

The operation in Nablus resulted in the death of two Islamic Jihad commanders, another gunman and three civilians

By Reuters

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Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 6:19 PM

Israeli troops killed 10 Palestinians, including at least three gunmen and three civilians, and wounded over 100 others during a raid on a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, witnesses and medical officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed the operation in Nablus, saying troops shot back after coming under fire while trying to detain militants suspected of planning imminent attacks. There were no Israeli casualties, an army statement said.

Palestinian militant faction Islamic Jihad said two of its Nablus commanders had been encircled in a house by Israeli troops, triggering a clash that drew in other gunmen. Explosions sounded and local youths pelted armoured troop transports with rocks.

Palestinian sources said the two Islamic Jihad commanders were killed along with another gunman. The fatalities also included at least three civilians, among them a 72-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy. Medical officials said 102 Palestinians were wounded, six of them critically.

Nablus and nearby Jenin have been a focus of raids that Israel has intensified over the last year following a spate of lethal Palestinian street attacks in its cities.

Sixty Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed in 2023, the Palestinian health ministry said. Ten Israelis and a Ukrainian tourist died in Palestinian attacks in the same period, according to Israel's foreign ministry.

"We condemn the occupation's raid into Nablus and we call for an end to the continued attacks against our people," said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas, another Palestinian group that sometimes fights alongside Islamic Jihad, said there were four gunmen, one from its own ranks, and hinted at possible reprisals from the Gaza Strip, a territory that it controls.

"The resistance in Gaza is monitoring the escalating crimes conducted by the enemy against our people in the occupied West Bank and is running out of patience," Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Hamas armed wing, said on Telegram.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sworn to Israel's destruction but have in the past observed Egyptian-mediated truces with it.

U.S.-sponsored Palestinian statehood talks have been stalled for almost a decade.

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