As Palestinians in Gaza still reel from Israel’s latest rampage of killing and destruction, Tel Aviv turned its deadly rage on the West Bank on Tuesday.
An early morning assault by occupation forces in the Old City of Nablus killed three Palestinians, including a child, and injured almost 70 with live ammunition.
Hours later, occupation forces fatally shot another Palestinian child in Hebron.
Among the dead in Nablus was Ibrahim Alaa al-Nabulsi, a resistance fighter who appears to have been the target of a pre-planned extrajudicial killing, along with a comrade, Islam Sabbouh.
Occupation forces “surrounded the house of al-Nabulsi on Tuesday morning as armed militants barricaded themselves inside and shot at the Israeli soldiers,” the newspaper Haaretz claimed.
According to an investigation by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, early on Tuesday morning members of Israel’s special forces unit Yamam “sneaked into al-Habla neighborhood in Nablus’ Old City and cordoned off an abandoned house in the area.”
Israeli forces closed off the surrounding neighborhood and then “heavily opened fire at the one-story house and launched several missiles at it.”
The resistance fighters exchanged fire with the Israeli attackers but were hopelessly outgunned.
Sabbouh’s body was “badly burnt after the missiles directly hit him, rendering it difficult to identify him,” PCHR stated.
Al-Nabulsi suffered gunshot wounds to the head and neck. He was taken to hospital where despite efforts to save him he was pronounced dead.
Pictures of Sabbouh and al-Nabulsi circulated widely after their deaths:Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid praised the killings as “another step in our uncompromising fight against terrorism.”
“I welcome the combined action of the security organizations, the Shin Bet, the IDF and the Israel Police, which resulted in a targeted action with great success and without casualties,” Lapid added, in apparent confirmation of a pre-planned killing.
Lapid’s reference to there being no casualties – when dozens of Palestinians were killed or injured – highlights the occupation leader’s total disregard for Palestinian lives.
In a similar vein on Monday, Lapid said Israel would “not apologize” for its bombing campaign in Gaza, which left almost 50 Palestinians, including 16 children, dead and hundreds more injured.
“Whoever tries to harm us will pay with their life,” Lapid said Monday.
The child killed in the Israeli attack on Nablus was identified as Hussein Jamal Hussein Taha by human rights group Defense for Children International-Palestine.
The 16-year-old “sustained at least one gunshot wound to his lower abdomen,” the group said.The boy’s father, Jamal Taha, was shot and injured.
The father and son had been on their way to work near the area cordoned off by the invading forces, according to PCHR.
Dozens more civilians were injured by what PCHR termed Israel’s “indiscriminate shooting” at “any moving object in the area.”
At least five people, including an elderly woman, are in critical condition, the group said.
Legend in life and death
Israel accuses al-Nabulsi, a member of the Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, of a series of shooting attacks targeting its occupation forces.
According to Palestinian media, al-Nabulsi had evaded several previous Israeli assassination attempts over the last year.
The legendary status he gained in life only increased in his final hours and following his death.
In a farewell message recorded while he was surrounded by Israeli forces, al-Nabulsi expressed his love for his parents and bade them farewell.
“Protect the country after I am gone,” he told Palestinians, urging that they should never lay down their weapons of resistance.
“I am on my way to martyrdom,” al-Nabulsi said.Sabbouh also reportedly recorded a brief message, audio of which circulated online. “We have become martyrs, pray for us,” he said. Thousands of people turned out for the funeral procession for those killed in Nablus.
And in an unusual scene, al-Nabulsi’s mother participated in bearing his body on her shoulders.Earlier, al-Nabulsi’s father told mourners that his son’s fate was “the fate of every honorable and free person who carries a free and honorable gun.” Palestinians declared a general strike in many towns and cities to protest the Israeli attack.
Amid confrontations in Hebron, occupation forces shot dead another child.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry said 16-year-old Mumin Yasin Jaber was killed with an exploding bullet that entered his heart.According to the PA health ministry, the latest deaths in the West Bank and Gaza bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israel this year to 130.
That includes more than 30 children.
“Resistance has never stopped because of the killing its leaders or wanted persons, but the occupier refuses to understand this,” Yasser Ashour, a Palestinian social media commenter, observed.That sentiment was echoed by Ibrahim al-Nabulsi’s mother.
“They shot Ibrahim. But there are 100 Ibrahims. Every one of you is Ibrahim,” she told mourners, adding that her son “is more precious than my soul.”