Thousands attend mass funerals for six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces

1. West Bank 1
Mourners attend the funeral of Palestinians killed in an overnight Israeli raid, in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on October 25, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

NABLUS, Palestinian Territories — Six Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces in sweeping raids Tuesday in the West Bank, and thousands of Palestinians attended their funerals later in the day.اضافة اعلان

The Palestinian health ministry said five people were killed in Nablus in the northern West Bank, where Israel confirmed an overnight raid. More than 20 people were also injured, some of them critically, the Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported.

Another Palestinian died from a gunshot wound to the chest during overnight Israeli violence in Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, the health ministry said.

The Palestinian presidency condemned the assault and killings, describing them as a war crime, Wafa said.

A sea of mourners carried bodies through the streets of Nablus ahead of the burials.

Israeli violence has surged in recent months in the north of the West Bank, the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 by Israel, especially in the areas of Nablus and Jenin.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the year, the heaviest toll in the West Bank for nearly seven years, according to the UN.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is making “urgent contacts in order to stop this aggression against our people” in Nablus, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a statement.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh warned in a statement that the violence would “plunge Palestine into escalation”.

Palestinian movements in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip announced a general strike.

Khaled Al-Batsh, a leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance group, urged “confrontation” with Israel on all “fronts”.

Islamic Jihad reported its fighters were involved in “violent clashes” with Israeli forces in Nablus, and threatened Israel with reprisals “for its crimes”.

In recent weeks, a group of young Palestinian fighters — some affiliated with groups such as Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad — have launched attacks from Nablus.

The new group, called “Areen Al-Ossoud” or “The Lions’ Den” in English, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on an Israeli soldier two weeks ago in the West Bank.

Late leader Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, nicknamed “The Lion of Nablus”, was known for galvanizing the youth before he was shot dead by Israeli forces in August. He has since become a folk hero to Palestinians on social media.

In the aftermath, the Israeli occupation forces tightened their grip on Nablus, setting up controls to identify people leaving the city and constantly scanning the area with observation drones.

Israel has imposed an ongoing siege on Nablus, “bringing daily life in the occupied West Bank city to a virtual halt with devastating economic impacts on its residents”, Wafa reported.

For the last 15 days, Israeli occupation forces have closed all checkpoints in and out of Nablus and sealed off a network of side roads that connects 425,000 people spread across four refugee camps, 55 villages, and one city.

On Saturday night, a Lions’ Den fighter, Tamer Al-Kilani, was assassinated in Nablus by an “explosion” attributed by the Israeli press to an Israeli bomb.

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