Palestinians condemn Israeli killing of 10 in Nablus raid

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Ramallah: Palestinians have condemned the killing of 10 Palestinians and wounding of 102 others during an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, said on Wednesday in a statement that Palestine condemns the Israeli deadly aggression against Nablus, vowing to hold the Israeli government “responsible for this dangerous escalation, which is pushing the region toward tension and an explosive situation”.

“The crime committed by the occupation forces in Nablus reaffirms the importance of our demand that the international community must act immediately to stop the Israeli crimes against our people,” Abu Rudeineh added.

He called on the US administration “to take immediate action and put effective pressure on the Israeli government to stop its crimes and continuous aggression against our people”.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Ishtaye described the Israeli killing of Palestinians in Nablus as “organised terrorism” and urged the UN to stop practicing “double standards”.

“The Israeli aggression is organised terrorism through which Israel seeks to export its internal crisis to the Palestinian arena,” he said.

Ishtaye called on the UN “to stop the policy of double standards that encourages Israel to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people”.

“Whatever is practiced against our people will not deter them from continuing their legitimate struggle to achieve their goals of freedom, ending the occupation, and establishing their independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.

In Gaza, Abu Obeida, the masked military spokesman of Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), said in a short statement that “resistance in Gaza is observing the escalating occupation crimes in the West Bank”.

“The patience of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza is running out,” he added.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers, including an elderly man and a 14-year-old boy, during an Israeli army military operation in the city of Nablus, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 102 Palestinians were also injured, including multiple in severe condition and three local Palestinian journalists.

The Israeli military confirmed in a statement that an operation was underway in Nablus, a militant stronghold that is frequently raided by the military, but did not provide further information immediately.

Local sources and eyewitnesses said that an Israeli army force backed by armoured vehicles stormed the outskirts of the old city of Nablus and surrounded a house to arrest several Palestinians wanted by Israeli security.

They added that the wanted Palestinians were armed, and exchanged fire with the soldiers who surrounded the building, adding that several explosions and intensive gunfire were heard in the city.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out in the city’s streets between dozens of Palestinians, who threw stones and empty bottles, and the soldiers, who opened fire at the demonstrators to disperse them.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the city said in a statement that the Israeli soldiers prevented its ambulances from entering the area to evacuate casualties that needed medical treatment in the hospital.

Israeli media outlets reported that an Israeli army force carried out on Wednesday morning a regular military activity following reports that Palestinian militants and members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were hiding in a building in the old city.

The reports said that the soldiers moved to the city and traded fire with the militants hiding in the building, adding that no injuries were reported among the Israeli soldiers.

The tension between Israel and the Palestinians has been flaring since early January in the West Bank following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed nine Israelis, according to official Israeli figures.

In return, the Israeli Army carried out dozens of daily incursions into the West Bank cities, villages, and refugee camps to arrest Palestinians involved in carrying out attacks against Israel.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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