Settlers entering Joseph’s Tomb under protection from Israeli troops. July 2019. (Photo credit: IDF)
Israeli troops and settlers raided Balata village in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus in the early hours of 16 March, injuring three Palestinians and subjecting dozens to suffocation from tear gas, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The military raided the area to protect dozens of Israeli settlers who were being accompanied by the troops while on their way to visit Joseph’s Tomb.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), three Palestinians were hit by live ammunition and were taken to the hospital. Palestinian ambulances were reportedly prevented from entering the Balata refugee camp.
As the Israeli army stormed Nablus’ eastern region, they deployed snipers across several buildings. Clashes started as a result, and Palestinian resistance fighters belonging to the Lions’ Den resistance group and other factions confronted the Israeli troops with gunfire.
Israeli troops were also targeted with Palestinian explosive devices, resulting in several injuries among their ranks.
“There are confirmed injuries after an Israeli infantry force was targeted with an explosive device during its storming of the Dahiya area in Nablus,” the Lions’ Den said in a statement.
تفجير عبوة ناسفة وسط جنود الاحتلال الذين يقتحمون المنطقة الشرقية في نابلس pic.twitter.com/pcJBCbltkr
— Hisham Abu Shaqrah | هشام أبو شقرة (@HShaqrah) March 15, 2023
“Our fighters also targeted a military jeep with a locally made explosive device on Amman Street in the eastern region of Nablus city,” the statement added.
🎥لحظة استهداف قوات الاحتلال بقنبلة محلية الصنع خلال اقتحام المنطقة الشرقية لمدينة #نابلس. pic.twitter.com/knTKP42muH
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) March 15, 2023
There has been a marked increase in the use of explosive devices against Israeli troops by the Palestinian resistance, resulting in significant concerns across Israel’s security establishment.
Settlers are regularly escorted into the Joseph’s Tomb holy site under heavy protection from Israeli troops, who violently storm the area for the settlers to enter.
On Thursday morning, Israeli troops stormed other areas of the West Bank, detaining several Palestinians.
As the Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank spreads exponentially, Israeli troops have stepped up their violent raids.
Since the start of the year, Israel has killed at least 84 Palestinians. With Ramadan approaching, tensions are expected to ignite even further, as Israel is known to step up harsh security measures during the holy month.
On 14 March, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) resistance movement called on Palestinians in all the occupied territories to take up arms and launch a third intifada.