At least ten Palestinians have been killed and many others wounded in a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian group in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
According to the Israeli military, the shootout occurred during an operation to arrest Palestinian fighters based in Nablus.
Over 102 people were injured on Wednesday – 82 were hit by live ammunition, the Palestinian health ministry said. Six were in critical condition.
A few of the victims were said to be gunmen, but others appeared to be unarmed. Time-stamped CCTV footage released on social media late Wednesday morning appeared to show the shooting of at least two unarmed Palestinians as they ran away from gunshots.
When asked for a reaction, the Israeli military claimed it was investigating the footage and in another separate statement claimed that it had “neutralized” three gunmen.
Widespread confrontations broke out soon after the army raided Nablus with dozens of armored vehicles and special forces at 10 am.
The army sealed off all city gates before surrounding a house where two wanted Palestinian fighters, Hossam Isleem and Mohammad Abdulghani, were killed.
The Lions’ Den armed group, together with the recently announced Balata Brigades, alleged in a statement that they clashed with Israeli forces during the operation. Young Palestinians pelted armored troop transports with rocks during the operation.
The killings bring the total number of Palestinians murdered in the occupied West Bank to roughly 60 since the beginning of the year, the majority of them during shootouts that the Israeli military claims began during operations to arrest Palestinian militants.
At least 11 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians since the beginning of the year, including seven in a mass shooting in East Jerusalem by a Palestinian attacker on Jan. 27 – the city’s bloodiest incident since 2008.
Following a series of individual Palestinian assaults within Israel in March 2022, the Israeli army initiated a military operation that led in 2022 being recognized by the UN as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006.