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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Nablus raid

Storming of Old City also wounds at least 19, as house cordoned off and bombarded with explosives and gunfire
A Palestinian Red Crescent volunteer stands back as fire breaks out in in a house and vehicles during clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank early on 24 July 2022. (AFP)
A Palestinian Red Crescent volunteer stands back as fire breaks out in a house and vehicles during clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus early on 24 July 2022 (AFP)

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians during an overnight raid on Sunday in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian health ministry has said.

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Yasmina neighbourhood of the Old City of Nablus to make an arrest shortly after midnight, and cordoned off a house and bombarded it with explosives and gunfire, according to the Wafa news agency.

A group of armed Palestinians barricaded themselves inside a house and responded to the raid with fire, leading to heavy gunfights that lasted for three hours. 

Muhammad Azizi, 25, was killed by a bullet to the chest, and Abdul Rahman Jamal Suleiman Sobh, 28, died after being shot in the head, according to the health ministry. 

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At least 19 people were wounded during the raid, including 10 hit by live fire, the Palestinian Red Crescent said. 

Thousands of mourners took the bodies of two slain Palestinian men to their final resting place in the morning. 

Among them was Ibrahim al-Nablusi, the Palestinian fighter Israeli forces sought but failed to arrest in the operation. 

Near-nightly raids

The raid was among a string of operations carried out by the Israeli army across occupied Palestinian towns in the early hours of Sunday.

Israel's army said it launched the operation in Nablus to apprehend armed "suspects". 

"During the activity, an exchange of fire took place between the armed suspects and Israeli forces. Hits on a number of terrorists were identified," it said.

It alleged that "rioters" hurled explosives and shot at soldiers, who responded with "riot dispersal means and live fire". 

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the raid an "Israeli crime".

"The entire region will remain in a cycle of violence until the occupation is ended and a just peace is achieved," he added in a statement to Voice of Palestine radio.

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Palestinian factions in Nablus announced a one-day general strike across the city to honour the two men killed during the raids.  

The Israeli army also carried out a raid in Qabatiya, near Jenin, in the north of the occupied West Bank, where local media reported that a young man was shot. 

Other operations were carried out in the village of Al-Mughayyir, in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, and in the city of Jenin. 

The Israeli army conducts raid-and-arrest operations on a near-nightly basis in the occupied West Bank, which often lead to the wounding or killing of Palestinians.

In recent months, such raids have been increasingly met with fire by small groups of Palestinians, mainly in the northern West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin. 

More than 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the first half of 2022, including 29 from Jenin alone, a 46 percent increase on last year, according to the United Nations.

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