Palestinian gunman shot dead in armed clash with IDF in Nablus

Military says 16 suspects arrested across West Bank overnight; police detain three in village near Jerusalem for allegedly planting bombs near security barrier, checkpoints

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 11, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 11, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A Palestinian gunman was shot dead during clashes with Israeli troops in Nablus’s Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank early Wednesday, the military and Palestinian health officials said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops entered the camp to arrest wanted Palestinians amid a months-long anti-terror effort, mostly in the northern West Bank, following a series of terror attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.

“During the operation of forces in the Balata refugee camp in the city of Nablus, the forces fired at gunmen who fired at them, [and] a suspect was hit,” the IDF said in a statement. No arrests were made in the camp.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said the man was shot in the head, and described his condition as “very critical.” Later, the ministry said the man, named as Ahmed Abu Junaid, 21, had died of his wounds.

The IDF said 16 Palestinians were arrested elsewhere across the West Bank, with some violent incidents.

In the Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem, the IDF said Palestinians hurled explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, and stones at troops, who responded with riot dispersal means.

The IDF said troops also seized two hunting rifles during raids in the villages of Iktaba and Fahma in the central West Bank.

Border Police officers detained three terror suspects in the Palestinian village of Bayt Duqu, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. A police spokesman said the trio were wanted over allegedly planting explosive devices along the security barrier and near checkpoints in the Jerusalem area.

A large number of forces entered the village and detained the three at three different locations, the spokesman said.

They were taken for further questioning by the Border Police.

Border Police officers arrest a Palestinian suspect in the village of Bayt Duqu, near Jerusalem, early January 11, 2023. (Border Police)

The IDF said the 16 Palestinians who were arrested in the West Bank over suspected terror activities were taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

No Israeli soldiers or police officers were hurt in the overnight raids, officials said.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another four since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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