Three Palestinians have been killed and nearly 20 more injured in violent fighting erupting in Nablus early Tuesday morning, amid what is believed to be an Israeli assault on a terrorist group at Lion’s Den.
Heavy gunfire was seen and heard in a video shared on social media after a large military convoy was seen entering the city shortly after midnight.
Explosions could still be heard as of 2:45 a.m., and a spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said an attempt to intervene was “urgent.”
Soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces surrounded a building in the northern West Bank city where, according to unconfirmed reports in the Hebrew and Palestinian media, senior members of the Lions Dentero group were being held captive.
According to some reports, Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles at the building, as well as small arms fire during a fierce firefight.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said three people were killed and 19 injured, including three in critical condition, in the fighting.
Media reports named two of the dead as Hamdi Sharaf and Ali Antar.
At least two Palestinians were killed and 14 wounded after Israeli occupation forces stormed the city of Nablus.#Nablus#nablas pic.twitter.com/8BOncLsNgn
— Sarah Orabi ???? ?????????? (@ Sarah_orabi9) October 24, 2022
According to Palestinian reports, members of the PA’s security forces were apparently caught off guard by the raid and opened fire on Israeli forces, who shot back and were wounded.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudyna said in a statement that the PA president was establishing “an urgent contact” in Nablus to stop this attack on our people.
#ahed for next season #nablasI know you pic.twitter.com/iSPgFRFjSP
— New Press | Nio Bless (@NewpressPs) October 24, 2022
The Israeli military has only confirmed that its forces are active in Nablus.
It said it would later send an update on the raid that came the day after another member of Lion’s Den was killed in a mysterious explosion attributed to Israel.
Oh | pic.twitter.com/8W2YLoJUL0
— المرچطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) October 24, 2022
The Israeli military has taken several steps against the Lion’s Den, a new group made up of members of various other terrorist factions that have become known for their brazen attacks against soldiers and settlers near Nablus last month. A week-long campaign took place. One soldier was killed in these attacks.
The Lions Den reportedly confirmed it had been targeted early Tuesday morning and said it was fighting back against Israeli forces. I swore.
Israel had cordoned off around Nablus almost two weeks ago, showing it could step up its action against the Lion’s Den.
AFP contributed to this report.