Israeli Forces Kill al-Aqsa Brigades Commander in Nablus Raid

Photo: Screenshot of Al Jazeera

Nablus, MINA – Three Palestinians, including a senior armed resistance commander, have been killed by Israeli forces during a raid on the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian health ministry said, Al Jazeera reports.

The Israeli army surrounded a building in the Old City at 5am local time (02:00 GMT) on Tuesday, where Ibrahim al-Nabulsi – the commander of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, had barricaded himself in. A gunfight lasted for several hours.

Al-Nabulsi, 30, was killed along with 32-year-old Islam Sabbouh and Hussein Jamal Taha, the health ministry said, adding that more than 60 others were wounded. Four were in critical condition.

According to Al Jazeera, al-Nabulsi had “refused to surrender, and was defended by other armed Palestinians” before he was killed.

Al-Nabulsi, known popularly as “the lion of Nablus”, had been on the run for many months, and survived several assassination attempts by Israel. His public appearances at the funerals of his fellow comrades, such as in February and July, had further raised the ire of Israeli forces.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the armed wing of Fatah – the movement that controls the Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank. However, it is a loose network without a clear hierarchy, and local groups often act on their own.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the death of al-Nabulsi almost an hour after his killing, resulting in conflicting reports. Videos shared on social media showed al-Nabulsi barefoot and in military fatigues, being carried by Palestinians, to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, with a gaping bullet wound in his neck but still alive.

Hundreds of Palestinians surrounded the hospital and some made it inside the operating room, hoping he would survive. Others shared al-Nabulsi’s will, which he recorded in an audio message hours earlier.

“Take care of the homeland,” he said. “I am surrounded now but I will fight until I become a martyr. I love my mother. Don’t abandon the gun.”

Cities and towns in the occupied West Bank observed a commercial strike in protest of the killings in Nablus.

Wafa news agency reported that the strike was held in Nablus, Hebron, Tulkarm, Jenin, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Salfit, and Tubas.

The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohamed Shtayeh, has condemned the killings and called on the United Nations Security Council “to break the double standards in dealing with international laws” and to hold Israel accountable.

On Friday, Israel launched what it called a “preemptive” aerial and artillery bombardment of Islamic Jihad positions in the Gaza Strip.

An Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreed on Sunday ended three days of intense fighting that killed 46 Palestinians, 16 of them children, and wounded 360, according to Gaza’s health ministry. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)