Jerusalem24 – 10 Palestinians were injured with live ammunition and shrapnel during an Israeli military raid early this morning in the old city of Nablus.
Five Palestinians were also arrested.
Around 8:00 AM, an Israeli undercover unit infiltrated the old city of Nablus from the Al-Hadadin Souq to a bakery in the old city and arrested five men, with a large number of Israeli reinforcements invading the old city.
Journalist Baker Abdel-Haq told Jerusalem24 that a large Israeli convoy followed the undercover unit and surrounded the bakery. According to Abdel-Haq, “the Israeli forces shot at everything and everyone in the vicinity of the bakery, injuring a number of citizens. One man was riding his motorcycle when soldiers targeted him.”
Two journalists were among the 10 reported injuries, said Ahmad Jibril, director of the Emergency and Ambulance Center at the Red Crescent in Nablus.
“Five were injured by live bullets, including journalists Nasser Ishtayeh and Hassan Qamhieh, while two others were injured after being run over by a military jeep, and three injuries were recorded by shrapnel.”
In the lion’s den
The Israeli army claimed in a statement that it arrested a member of the armed Palestinian group The Lions’ Den during the military raid.
The statement said that 33-year-old Iyad Sharabah, a resident of Nablus, is an operative in The Lions’ Den and is suspected of being involved in shooting attacks. The army shared a photograph of what they say are weapons they confiscated at the scene, including two Carlo-type rifles and an explosive device.
However, a statement by The Lions’ Den said that its members discovered the Israeli undercover unit at 8:00 AM and surrounded them, denying that the army had arrested any of its fighters during the operation:
“Our members surrounded the Israeli force near a popular bakery, and formed a dense belt of fire with homemade explosive devices from all directions around the intruding force.”
The five men arrested by the Israeli soldiers during the invasion are bakery owner Iyad Sharabah, Asaad Al-Samhan, Ehab Nassar, Tamer Nassar, and Jihad Mihrab, according to Palestinian media.
“The bakery was completely destroyed, two years after its reconstruction following the 2002 invasion of the old city,” said Abdel-Haq while reporting from the scene, and referring to the severe damage sustained to the neighborhood during the military invasions of the Second Intifada.
Photojournalist Nasser Ishtaya told Jerusalem24 that he was covering the Israeli raid on the old city when confrontations broke out between the Israeli army and local youth.
“I was in the vicinity of the bakery; four military jeeps were stationed at the entrance to the Al-Yasmina neighborhood, and confrontations broke out between the Israeli army and local youth who threw stones and cocktail Molotov. In the midst of it all I found myself falling to the ground. My guess is it was a piece of shrapnel of the Molotov.”
Ishtayeh was hit in the left leg and treated by Red Crescent crews who transferred him to Rafidia Governmental Hospital. Ishtayeh said he insisted on leaving the hospital to be treated at home by his daughter who happens to be a doctor.
Qamhieh on the other hand, who was not on the job when injured, was on his way to a bakery in Al-Hadadin Souq when he saw the Israeli army and decided to turn the other way and run, but was shot with live ammunition in the left calf.
Qamhieh told Palestine TV that the bullet penetrated his leg. He is being treated at Rafidia Hospital.
Violent confrontations broke out between local youth and the Israeli army forces in different parts of the old city of Nablus before the military withdrew.
Local sources said that a number of residents of the old city were trapped in another bakery opposite Sparrow Bakery for over an hour.
According to local media, the arrested men were planning to take part in the funeral procession of 21-year-old Ahmad Abu Junaid that was set to take place on Thursday afternoon.
Abu Junaid was shot and killed by the Israeli army during a military raid on the Balata refugee camp yesterday, Wednesday, at dawn.
Video footage has emerged of armed Palestinian fighters during the raid, one of whom was shot and injured, and said to be Abu Junaid.
The Lions’ Den mourned Abu Junaid via Telegram yesterday, Wednesday, and said that he was a member of the Balata Brigades.