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Several Palestinians killed in battle between gunmen, Israeli forces in Nablus

IDF soldiers were attacked after surrounding a building in which three terrorists, the targets of the operation, were holed up.

IDF soldiers surround a house during an arrest raid in the Askar refugee camp on the eastern outskirts of Nablus, Dec. 18, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
IDF soldiers surround a house during an arrest raid in the Askar refugee camp on the eastern outskirts of Nablus, Dec. 18, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Ten Palestinians were reported killed in a gun battle that erupted when Israeli forces came under fire on Wednesday during an arrest operation in Nablus.

Israel Defense Forces fighters were attacked by gunmen after surrounding a building in the kasbah/Old City in the center of the Palestinian Authority-run city in Samaria in which three terrorists, the targets of the operation, had holed up.

Soldiers surrounded a home where the wanted terrorists, members of the Lions’ Den terrorist group, were located, demanding they turn themselves in. The suspects instead began shooting from the structure, prompting the soldiers to return fire.

Palestinians also threw stones and firebombs at the soldiers during the raid.

All three wanted men were reported killed during the arrest raid—two died inside while the third tried to escape before being shot. Soldiers later found a weapons cache in the building.

There were no Israeli casualties.

The three wanted men were identified as Husam Aslim, 24, one of the heads of the Lion’s Den group, who carried out shooting and IED attacks and dispatched the murderers of IDF St.-Sgt. Ido Baruch who were arrested last week by the Israeli security forces; Muhammad a-Fatah, 24, an Islamic Jihad member who carried out shooting attacks targeting IDF soldiers in Judea and Samaria; and Walid Dahil, 24, a member of the Lions’ Den group who fired at soldiers in Judea and Samaria.

A spokesman for P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday condemned “the crime committed by the occupation forces in the city of Nablus” and called on the Biden administration “to take immediate action and put effective pressure on the Israeli government to stop its continuous aggression against our people.”

Israel remains engaged in a counter-terrorism offensive amid a wave of Palestinian attacks.

Earlier this month, a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood claimed the lives of Yaakov Israel Paley, 6, his brother, Asher Menachem Paley, 8, and 20-year-old Alter Shlomo Lederman.

Three days later, Israeli soldier St.-Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, died from wounds sustained in a terrorist attack at a checkpoint to Shuafat in northeastern Jerusalem.

In late January, seven people were killed and several others were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.

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