Jerusalem24 – Israeli special forces killed three Palestinians this morning after besieging two houses in the old city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
The Ministry of Health never officially confirmed the identity of the three men killed: two were severely disfigured by their injuries and are “difficult to identify”, according to the Ministry. However, Hamas released a statement in mourning of Ibrahim Jaber, Hassan Qatnani, and Moaz Al-Masri, and hundreds of people are currently attending the three men’s funeral.
A statement by the Israeli army and Shin Bet says Qatnani and Al-Masri perpetrated a shooting attack in the Jordan Valley which killed three Israeli settlers last month.
Another four Palestinians were injured by live ammunition and hospitalized, 152 had to be treated for tear gas inhalation, and a number of surrounding houses were damaged.
The Red Crescent director in Nablus, Ahmad Jibril, said the Israeli army prevented its crews from reaching the injured, including cases of tear gas inhalation inside a school, and targeted the crews with sound bombs.
A full strike has been declared in Nablus following the killings.
“They ordered us to stay on the ground”
According to residents and video footage, the army launched several anti-tank missiles at the houses and deployed drones. Residents say explosives were also launched from the drones.
The “Energa” anti-tank missiles, once a rare sight in Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank, have become a common feature of raids since Israel stepped up its operations last year, and are launched in residential neighborhoods on a regular basis.
Sirens sounded in the city as the raid unfolded, and there were appeals from Mosque loudspeakers for residents to repel the invasion.
The soldiers deployed to rooftops and entered adjacent houses during the siege, detaining the families inside and leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
One resident who was detained with her young children told Quds News Network: “They came and broke the door down. My children were on their way to school. They entered the house as if they were savages and attacked my son who was holding his baby brother, they took him to a room and tied him up and put him on the ground. And then they put the rest of us in the kitchen and ordered us to stay on the ground. They broke windows in order to locate snipers and shoot missiles. My children were crying. This is their first close encounter with the Israeli army.”
Israeli forces and settlers have now shot and killed 104 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in 2023, and two inside Israel.
Another two have died in Gaza of wounds sustained during Israel’s bombardment of the Strip last year, and a third was killed by an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday night.
A further two have died of medical neglect inside Israeli prisons – bringing the total death toll to 111 including five senior citizens and 23 children, the youngest of them 10 years old.