Palestinian mourners carry Muhammad al-Azizi, one of two Palestinians killed when Israeli forces on an arrest mission met retaliatory fire by Palestinian resistance fighters in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on 24 July 2022. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Israeli forces raided the occupied Palestinian city of Nablus in the West Bank on 24 July in an attempt to arrest Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a member of the Palestinian armed resistance.
Two Palestinians were killed and 19 were injured, two of them critically, due to live ammunition used by Israeli forces.
Local members of armed Palestinian resistance factions put up a fierce battle against the Israeli forces.
The two killed during the confrontation with Israeli occupation forces were Aboud Sobh, 29, and Muhammad al-Azizi, 22, according to the Palestine Red Crescent.
Israeli forces finally withdrew, following a three-hour battle in the the historical districts of Nablus city.
Al-Nabulsi, who survived an assassination attempt on 8 February, was not arrested.
Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid claimed the raid was to arrest those who were responsible for resistance operations against Israeli settlers.
“We won’t sit and wait for Israeli citizens to be harmed,” Lapid said to his cabinet. “We will go out and harm the terrorists in their homes.”
Israeli media reported that the resistance in occupied Jenin had engaged in armed confrontations during the same time period.
With the growth of armed resistance groups over the past year, Israeli occupation forces have been routinely raiding cities in the occupied West Bank. Armed resistance was previously limited to the Gaza Strip.
Various resistance operations against Israeli settlers and soldiers have recently been carried out by residents of the West Bank and not Gaza, a development that has sparked panic among the Israeli military establishment.
Such operations, involving only one or two Palestinian resistance militants with the ability to evade capture and outwit a large number of Israeli forces have embarrassed Israel.
The failure to stop Palestinian armed resistance operations has added to the pressure that would eventually cause the government of former prime minister Naftali Bennett to collapse.
On 8 July, Tariq Salmi, a spokesman for the Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, strongly condemned a meeting held between Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, and the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas.
The meeting was referred to as “a service to the occupation.”
Salmi went on to commend resistance activity in the West Bank, praising the bravery of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) “for its persistence in confronting settlement projects and occupier aggression.”
Salmi also discussed Palestinian criticism of the PA, much of it directed at PA compliance with Israeli demands and for PA targeting of resistance activists across the West Bank on behalf of Israel.
A joint statement by Palestinian resistance factions on 22 January this year demanded the PA release all political detainees as well as end prosecutions and summons against cadres (factional activists) and prisoners released in the West Bank.
Surging food costs and an imminent hunger crisis looming over Palestine have also recently resulted in protests demanding government solutions to the crisis.
This crisis has seen renewed dissatisfaction among Palestinians in the areas under PA control.
Meanwhile, far-right member of the Knesset (MK) Itamar Ben-Gvir stated that Israel must kill “as many [Palestinians] as possible” during attacks against occupied territories.
Ben-Gvir is a close ally of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose fortunes to return to power took an upswing last month after the most recent collapse of the Israeli government.
With a new round of elections scheduled for 1 November, Netanyahu is gearing up to court the Jewish supremacist vote under the slogan “the Arabs are taking over the country.”