10 Palestinians Killed, Dozens Shot in Israel West Bank Raid

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces amid a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on February 22, 2023. (AFP)
Palestinians clash with Israeli forces amid a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on February 22, 2023. (AFP)
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10 Palestinians Killed, Dozens Shot in Israel West Bank Raid

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces amid a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on February 22, 2023. (AFP)
Palestinians clash with Israeli forces amid a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on February 22, 2023. (AFP)

Israeli troops killed 10 Palestinians Wednesday in a raid on the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, while more than 80 suffered gunshot wounds, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Israeli army said the raid targeted militant suspects "in a hideout apartment" accused of shootings in the West Bank. It added troops came under live fire but suffered no casualties.

Top Palestinian official Hussein Al Sheikh decried the incursion as a "massacre" and called for "international protection for our people".

The death toll is equal to that of an Israeli army raid last month in Jenin, further north, which was the deadliest West Bank operation since at least 2005.

The Israeli military said that one of the suspects was shot while fleeing, while the two others were killed at the property.

The suspects and Israeli forces "exchanged fire and at some point, we upgraded our efforts. There were also rockets that were fired on the house" by the army, spokesman Richard Hecht told journalists.

Rocks, explosive devices and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the troops, an earlier army statement said.

The Palestinian health ministry said those killed "as a result of the occupation's aggression on Nablus" were aged between 16 and 72.

'Heinous'

A further 82 people were admitted to multiple hospitals with gunshot wounds, Palestinian health officials said.

Mostafa Shaheen, a Nablus resident, said he was surprised to hear explosions at around 9:30 am (0730 GMT).

"A large number of soldiers stormed the area and besieged the whole area," he told AFP. "We kept hearing the explosions and gunfire."

Huge crowds gathered outside Nablus's Rafidia hospital, waiting for news of dozens of casualties being treated at the facility.

The wounded include Palestine TV journalist Mohammed Al Khatib, who was shot in the hand, his colleague told AFP.

The Islamic Jihad militant group said one of its commanders was killed "in a heroic battle against the Israeli occupation army and its special forces".

The Lions' Den, a local band of fighters, said six of those killed were militants from various factions.

Troops withdrew from the city after three hours, an AFP journalist said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said its medics had treated 250 cases of tear gas inhalation and dozens of gunshot wounds.

The Arab League said the raid amounted to a "heinous crime".

"The occupation authorities and the far-right Israeli government are responsible for this horrible massacre," said Saeed Abu Ali, the Arab League's assistant secretary-general for Palestinian affairs.

'Ominous signs'

The latest deadly Israeli incursion follows an appeal by the United Nations Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, for the violence to be halted as an "urgent priority".

"We have seen ominous signs of what awaits if we fail to address the current instability," he told the UN Security Council on Monday.

Since the start of this year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 59 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians.

Nine Israeli civilians, including three children, one Ukrainian civilian and a police officer have been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Saturday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling on both to "restore calm".

Last month's visit by Washington's top envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories has been followed by further violence and rifts between officials.

Israel has occupied the Palestinian territory since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Last year was the deadliest year in the territory since the United Nations started tracking casualties in 2005.



Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
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Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS

Israeli forces pounded areas in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing three people and wounding dozens of others, according to medics, while tanks deepened their invasion into Rafah in the south, residents said.
Israeli planes struck a house in Al-Nuseirat camp, killing two people and wounding 12 others, while tanks shelled areas in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps, wounding many other people, health officials said, according to Reuters. Nuseirat, Maghazi, and Bureij are three of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps.
In Deir al-Balah, a city packed with displaced people in the central Gaza Strip, an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and wounded several others on Thursday, medics said.
The Israeli military said on Wednesday forces were continuing their operations across the enclave targeting militants and military infrastructure in what it described as "precise, intelligence-based" activities.
More than eight months into the war in Gaza, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to storm: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center. The operations have forced more than a million people to flee since May, the vast majority already displaced from other parts of the enclave.
In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks stationed deep in the western and central areas of the city stepped up bombardment, forcing more families living in the far coastal areas to flee northward. Some residents said the pace of the raid has been accelerated in the past two days.
"The tanks took control of most of the areas in Rafah. People living by the beach have also started to leave toward Khan Younis and central areas in fear because of the continued bombardment," said Abu Wasim, a resident from Rafah's Al-Shaboura neighborhood, who quit his home over a week ago before tanks rolled in reaching the heart of the city.
Rafah housed over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people until May 7 when Israeli forces began the ground offensive into the city. Fewer than 100,000 are now believed to be left behind.
There has been no sign of let-up in the fighting as efforts by international mediators, backed by the United States, have failed to persuade Israel and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.
The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities freed 33 Palestinians who had been detained during the past months by Israeli forces in different areas of the enclave. The freed detainees were admitted into Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip after they complained of torture and mistreatment by Israeli jailers.