Palestinian gunmen clash with IDF in Nablus; eight terror suspects arrested

Local terror factions claim they thwarted arrest operation in West Bank city; military reports drive-by shooting at post; Palestinian said hurt in separate clash

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

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early December 7, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early December 7, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Palestinian gunmen clashed with Israeli troops early Wednesday in the northern West Bank city of Nablus during an attempt by the army to arrest a wanted man.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, troops operating in the city came under fire from armed Palestinians. The IDF said the forces returned fire, and that no soldiers were hurt.

A local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror groups said their members had opened fire at the Israeli troops in the area, claiming to have prevented them from conducting an arrest.

Distant gunshots could be heard in footage posted on social media.

The IDF said no suspects were detained in Nablus, but eight Palestinians were arrested elsewhere across the West Bank, with some violent incidents.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry meanwhile said that a Palestinian was hurt by Israeli troops’ gunfire in the village of Kafr Ein in the central West Bank.

The ministry said his condition was moderate to serious. There was no immediate comment from the IDF on the incident.

The IDF also reported a shooting attack on a military post close to the nearby village of Nabi Saleh in the predawn hours of Wednesday. The military said Palestinians opened fire at the post from a passing vehicle, and no soldiers were hurt.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

Late Tuesday, an IDF officer reported being shot by masked Palestinians while driving near Zif Junction in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank. A security source said the suspects had used an airsoft gun, and not a real firearm.

Another Israeli man was lightly hurt by stones hurled at his car in the same area. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it took the 19-year-old to Soroka hospital in Beersheba for further treatment.

Damage is seen to an Israeli car in the southern West Bank after a stone-throwing attack, December 6, 2022. (Courtesy)

Tensions have been high in the West Bank over the past year, with the IDF launching a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 31 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left more than 150 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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