Palestinian teen gunman killed in clash with IDF in Nablus; 9 suspects arrested

Military says troops return fire at 17-year-old who shot at them in northern West Bank; Lion’s Den group claims shooting at forces; army vehicles damaged near Jenin

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

Illustrative: Israeli troops operate near the West Bank city of Jericho, early February 6. 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Israeli troops operate near the West Bank city of Jericho, early February 6. 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A Palestinian teenager was killed in armed clashes with Israeli troops early Tuesday in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, the military and Palestinian health officials said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at troops operating in Nablus. The forces returned fire and the suspect was hit, the IDF said.

According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, 17-year-old Hamza Amjad al-Ashqar was fatally shot in the head.

Images circulating online showed al-Ashqar brandishing an assault rifle, indicating his possible affiliation with a local armed group.

The Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group in a statement claimed to have opened fire at Israeli forces in the city.

The IDF said explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and stones were also hurled at troops operating in Nablus.

Separately in other areas of the West Bank, troops detained nine wanted Palestinians in overnight raids, and seized several weapons, the IDF said.

In the village of Burqin near Jenin, the IDF said troops came under “massive gunfire” by Palestinian gunmen, and explosive devices hurled at forces damaged several army vehicles. Four wanted Palestinians were detained in the village, the IDF said.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt during the clashes and overnight raids, the military said.

Tuesday’s deadly clashes came as tensions remain high in the West Bank.

The IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive to deal with a series of attacks that left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022, and seven more in an attack last month.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 42 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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