(JNS) Several Palestinians were killed in a gun battle that erupted when Israeli forces came under fire on Wednesday morning during an arrest operation in Nablus, Israeli and Palestinian media reported.
Israeli forces were targeted by gunmen after surrounding a building in the kasbah in the center of the Palestinian Authority-run city of Nablus, in which two terrorists, the targets of the operation, had holed themselves up, according to the reports.
Hebrew-language media named the terrorists as Hussam Isleem, who is linked to Lions’ Den terror group, and Muhammad al-Junaidi, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military commander in Nablus.
According to the Kan public broadcaster, Isleem and al-Junaidi were both part of the cell that killed IDF Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch during a shooting attack in October.
Israeli forces earlier this month arrested two other Palestinians in connection with Baruch’s murder. The suspects were identified as Obkamel Guri and Osama Tawil, residents of Nablus.
The Israel Defense Forces announced Wednesday’s operation earlier in the day without providing additional details.
The P.A. Health Ministry identified Isleem as one of the fatalities, in addition to Adnan Saabe Baara, 72, Tamer Nimr Minawi, 33, Khaled Mohammad Anbsousi, 25, Musab Munir Awais, 26 and Mohammad Omar Abu Baker, 23.
A spokesman for P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday condemned “the crime committed by the occupation forces in the city of Nablus,” and called on the Biden administration “to take immediate action and put effective pressure on the Israeli government to stop its continuous aggression against our people.”
Israel remains engaged in a counter-terrorism offensive amid a wave of Palestinian attacks.
Earlier this month, a terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood claimed the lives of Yaakov Israel Paley, 6, his brother, Asher Menachem Paley, 8, and 20-year-old Alter Shlomo Lederman.
Three days later, Israeli soldier St.-Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, died from wounds sustained in a terrorist attack at a checkpoint to Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem.
In late January, seven people were killed and several others were wounded in a terrorist shooting attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.