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2 Palestinian gunmen killed in early morning Nablus counterterror raid

6 Palestinians wounded; Border Police say officers came under attack during West Bank operation; Lapid: Raid targeted ‘terrorists who carried out string of shooting attacks’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A picture taken after clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank on July 24, 2022 (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)
A picture taken after clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank on July 24, 2022 (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

At least two Palestinian gunmen were killed in an Israeli military raid early Sunday morning in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

A Border Police spokesman said in a statement Sunday that the elite Yamam counterterrorism unit, along with Israel Defense Forces soldiers, clashed for a number of hours with Palestinians who opened fire and hurled explosive devices from the home of a wanted man in Nablus’ old city.

“Amid the exchange of fire, a number of terrorists were eliminated. There are no casualties to our forces,” the spokesman said. There were no arrests made during the raid.

The Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry said two men were killed and six people were wounded, two of them critically. It was not clear if the wounded had been directly involved in the clashes.

The men killed were identified online as Aboud Sobah and Muhammad al-Azizi.

Images circulated online purported to show the pair carrying rifles, indicating they were members of a terror faction in the city, although no group immediately claimed them as members.

Footage of the home the suspects apparently barricaded themselves in showed heavy damage.

Police said troops had used gunfire and “other means” to “neutralize” the gunmen who were in and on top of the building.

Earlier, the IDF said troops had come under fire during the operation, without elaborating.

A picture taken after clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank on July 24, 2022 (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

“When the shootout ended, the Yamam troops entered the house and during the searches, many weapons, firearms and explosive devices were found,” the Border Police spokesman said.

Police issued photos of the weaponry seized.

Weapons and weapon parts seized by troops in Nablus, July 24, 2022. (Border Police)

At the opening to the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that the targets of the raid were “terrorists who recently carried out a string of shooting attacks.”

Lapid congratulated security forces on an “effective and successful operation” and vowed the government would maintain a “firm policy” on terror.

“We will not sit and wait until they harm Israeli citizens. We will go out and hit the terrorists in their own homes,” Lapid said.

Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev said in a statement that security forces are “endangered day and night as they position themselves as a barrier between the terrorists and Israeli citizens.”

“We will continue to pursue terrorists and those who send them, in every place and at any time,” he said.

Separately, clashes also erupted between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank town of Qabatiya, near Jenin. The IDF said troops returned fire at gunmen who opened fire at them in the area.

In a statement, the IDF said troops arrested two wanted Palestinians in Qabatiya, and another two during raids in other areas of the West Bank.

Tensions have remained high in the West Bank, as Israeli security forces stepped up operations following a deadly wave of terror attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead earlier this year.

Over Friday and Saturday, Israeli security forces arrested six Palestinian suspects throughout the West Bank, with violent confrontations in some areas, the IDF said.

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