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11 Dead, 103 Injured in Nablus Massacre

By Jacob Winter, BA Politics and International Relations

Upwards of 150 Israeli soldiers in armoured vehicles assaulted the Palestinian city of Nablus last week in one of the deadliest attacks by Israeli forces on occupied Palestine since the Intifada. According to the Israeli Defence Forces, the attack was targeting three members of the Lions’ Den militant group headquartered in Nablus. All three of the wanted men were killed in the attack, as well as seven others, including three elderly men between the ages of 60 and 72 and one teenager. 

According to Mondoweiss, the attack began as an undercover special forces team entering Nablus, searching for the Lions’ Den militants but ended with a full assault on the city by military vehicles. The Palestinian Ministry of Health claims outside of the 11 people killed, at least 103 were injured, with 85 of the injuries being the result of live ammunition. Six of the injured are reported to be in critical condition. Only two Israeli soldiers were injured, and they suffered no casualties. 

Videos of the attack showed large convoys of assault vehicles being surrounded by crowds, with youths throwing crates at the vehicles once they arrived in the marketplace before retreating,  videos also showed Israeli soldiers firing tear gas at the crowds. 

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, has referred to the attack as a ‘massacre’. In response to the attack, a general strike has been called, which has paralyzed the economy of the West Bank, with rallies to be held on Thursday 2 March. 

The attack comes a month after Israeli assaults on the Jenin and Aqabat Jabr refugee camps, which targeted the militant wings of Palestinian resistance groups such as Hamas. Likewise, the attack on Nablus comes after a long-running Israeli siege on the city since October 2022, after members of the Lions’ Den group killed an Israeli soldier. 62 Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israeli military action since the start of the year. According to Israeli sources, Palestinian militants have killed ten Israelis and one Ukrainian tourist since the start of the year.

Tensions between Israeli and Palestinian militant groups have reached a boiling point, with a new Israeli cabinet dominated by ultra-nationalists who have engaged in campaigns against Palestinian resistance groups, while a West Bank settler organisation has claimed that the Israeli government has approved 2000 new homes for Israeli settlers. In response, the Palestinian Authority has suspended all security ties with Israel and will not assist in the detaining of militants. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have vowed to continue attacks not just within the West Bank but also within Israel proper. 

The Lions’ Den organisation was formed in August 2022 following the killing of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, nicknamed ‘The Lion of Nablus’.They have opposed both the Israeli state but also the Palestinian Authority, which they claim to be corrupt and open to collaboration with the Israeli state. 

The US State Department has expressed its “deep concern” over the civilian loss of life in response to the Nablus raid. Negotiations between the Israeli state and the Palestinian authority flatlined under the Trump administration, while the Biden administration has claimed it is working towards a new settlement. CIA chief William Burns visited both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in January. Arab states in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have both condemned the raid. 

The names and ages of those killed in the raid are as follows:

Mohammed Khaled Anbusi, 25

Tamer Nimr Ahmad Minawi, 33

Musaab Muneer Mohammad Oweis, 26

Jasir Jameel Abdelwahhab Qan’ir, 23

Husam Basam Isleem, 24

Walid Riyad Hussein Dakhil, 23

Mohammad Abu Bakr Juneidi, 23

Adnan Sabe Bara, 72

Abdelhadi Abed Aziz Al-Ashqar, 61

Anan Shawkat Annab, 66

Mohammad Farid Shaaban, 16

Photo Caption: Palestinians resist Israeli military incursion (Credit: CNN).

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