Israeli troops kill three Palestinian fighters in West Bank

Israeli forces reportedly prevented Palestinian medics from approaching three fighters shot by troops near Nablus on 25 July.

Mohammed Nasser APA images

Israeli occupation forces shot and killed three Palestinian fighters in the northern West Bank early Tuesday.

A firefight between the three Palestinians and Israeli forces broke out in front of an army post at the entrance to a Samaritan community near Nablus.

Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of about 800 people split between Mount Gerizim in Nablus and Holon, a coastal city in Israel.

Surveillance camera video of the incident shows an exchange of heavy gunfire in the street outside the military installation:

Israeli forces prevented medics with the Palestine Red Crescent Society from accessing the three Palestinians, who were reportedly executed by troops.

The Israeli military is detaining the slain men’s bodies as part of its policy, approved by its highest court, of withholding the remains of Palestinians killed in attacks and alleged attacks so that they may be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations.

Palestinian outlets identified the slain men as Nour al-Din Taysir al-Arda, 32, Muntasir Bahajat Ali Salameh, 33 and Saad Maher al-Kharaz, 43:

The armed wing of Hamas claimed the three men as its fighters.

A medic described a difficult situation in the aftermath of the battle. Video shows paramedics picking up bits of tissue from the ground, which was stained with the slain men’s blood:

The attack on the Israeli military installation at Mount Gerizim occurred hours after a bus carrying Israelis came under fire in nearby Huwwara. No injuries were reported.
Israeli authorities claimed that the slain Palestinians were attempting an attack on the Samaritan community, but video of the incident indicates that the attack was directed at occupation forces.

The military published a photo that it said showed weapons found in the gunmen’s vehicle:

Earlier this month, Palestinians opened fire at a police vehicle in the Samaritan community in Mount Gerizim, causing damage to a shop but no injuries.

The northern West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority has largely lost its ability to arrest and control Palestinians on Israel’s behalf, has witnessed a resurgence of armed resistance against the Israeli military and settlers over the past year and a half.

Israeli troops, police and settlers have killed 200 Palestinians so far this year, mostly in the West Bank. That figure includes Palestinians who died as a result of injuries sustained previously.

During the same period, 30 people in Israel and Israelis in the West Bank were killed by Palestinians in the context of the occupation, or died from previous injuries.


Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.