Israeli troops kill 9 Palestinians in West Bank clash, medics say
NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians, including at least three gunmen and three civilians, and wounded over 90 others during a raid on a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, witnesses and medical officials said.
The Israeli army confirmed it was carrying out an operation in Nablus but did not immediately provide further details.
The Islamic Jihad militant faction said two of its Nablus commanders had been encircled in a house by Israeli troops, triggering a clash that drew in other gunmen. Explosions sounded and local youths pelted armoured troop transports with rocks.
Palestinian sources said the two Islamic Jihad commanders were killed along with another gunman. The fatalities also included at least three civilians, among them a 72-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy. Ninety-seven Palestinians were injured, six of them critically, local medics said.
Nablus and nearby Jenin have been a focus of raids that Israel has intensified over the last year following a spate of lethal Palestinian street attacks in its cities.
At least 57 Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed in 2023, the Palestinian health ministry said. Ten Israelis and a Ukrainian tourist have been killed in Palestinian attacks, according to Israel's foreign ministry.
"We condemn the occupation's raid into Nablus and we call for an end to the continued attacks against our people," said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas, another Palestinian militant group that sometimes fights alongside Islamic Jihad, hinted at possible reprisals from the Gaza Strip, a territory that it controls.
"The resistance in Gaza is monitoring the escalating crimes conducted by the enemy against our people in the occupied West Bank and is running out of patience," Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Hamas armed wing, said on Telegram.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sworn to Israel's destruction but have in the past observed Egyptian-mediated truces with it.
(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; editing by Bernadette Baum and Mark Heinrich)