The Israeli occupation army announced that one of its soldiers was killed today, Tuesday, by Palestinian gunmen, near the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, while hundreds of settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli army said – in a statement – that the soldier died of his wounds shortly after he was shot near the settlement of Shavei Shomron northwest of Nablus.
The statement stated that “Palestinian gunmen opened fire from a speeding car towards a number of soldiers who were actively involved in securing the area and the residents,” referring to a march of settlers in the area, adding that the army forces began chasing the shooters.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed to arrest the perpetrators of the attack, and said in a tweet on Twitter that the military operation against what he described as terrorism will continue and intensify in order to provide security for the citizens of Israel, as he put it.
The leader of the right-wing opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to say that only a strong grip will triumph over terrorism.
Earlier, eyewitnesses had stated that the shooting targeted a group of occupation soldiers in conjunction with the launch of a march organized by settlers, to celebrate the so-called Jewish “Throne Day”.
An armed Palestinian group formed in the city of Nablus – calling itself “The Lions’ Den” – claimed responsibility for the shooting, and said – in a statement – that it had started a series of “Days of Rage” operations. The group added, “A group of our heroic fighters carried out a qualitative operation near the usurped Shavei Shomron, achieving certain and severe casualties among the enemy, and the mujahideen withdrew safely, thanks to God.”
For its part, Hamas blessed the operation, and said that the act of resistance would escalate with the increase in aggression against the Palestinian people and the continued targeting of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Nablus operation comes within a series of Palestinian operations against the occupation forces and settlers, in exchange for Israeli assassinations of Palestinian resistance fighters in the West Bank. And last Sunday, an Israeli soldier died of her wounds after an attack targeting the occupation forces at the military checkpoint at the entrance to Shuafat camp in occupied Jerusalem.
Clashes in the outskirts of Jerusalem
In simultaneous developments, the neighborhoods of Shuafat camp and the town of Anata, north of occupied Jerusalem, are witnessing – for the third consecutive day – confrontations between Palestinian youths and the occupation forces, which continue to search for the perpetrator of the Shuafat checkpoint attack, which resulted in the killing of a female soldier and the injury of 3 others.
Eyewitnesses said that large Israeli forces repeatedly stormed the outskirts of the camp and some of its streets, raided homes and shops, and confiscated surveillance cameras.
Yesterday, Monday evening, the occupation forces, reinforced by engineering units, raided the home of the attacker’s family, located in one of the outskirts of the camp, and took his measurements, in preparation for a decision to demolish the house.
The occupation soldiers are holding approximately 130,000 Jerusalemites who live in these neighborhoods as hostages under the pretext of searching for wanted persons, and these neighborhoods have turned into a real arena of war, as the occupation soldiers began searching dozens of homes, targeting citizens, and firing gas bombs, sound bombs, and “rubber” bullets at the citizens and their homes.
About 1,062 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on the morning of the second day of the so-called “Hebrew Throne Day” pic.twitter.com/B1hRK6ovT2
Al Aqsa Incursions
On the other hand, settlers’ incursions to Al-Aqsa Mosque renewed on Tuesday, this time on the occasion of the so-called Jewish “Throne Day”.
Al-Jazeera correspondent said that 7 settlement groups, comprising about 500 settlers, stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa under the protection of the occupation forces, which arrested two Palestinians while responding to the settlers’ incursions.
And the Israeli occupation forces had opened – on Tuesday morning – the Mughrabi Gate to facilitate the settlers’ storming of the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and to meet the settlers’ calls to intensify the incursions in the coming days.
The occupation police also imposed restrictions on the entrances and alleys of the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, erected military barriers, and raised the state of alert in the Holy City and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa. Hundreds of settlers carried out noisy parties and dances near Bab al-Jadid last night.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the settlers’ provocative incursions into the mosque’s courtyards, warning against consecrating Talmudic prayers at the gates and courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also condemned the Israeli incursions, and its spokesman warned that the continuous violations and attacks on holy sites – in conjunction with the continuous incursions into the occupied Palestinian territories – threaten to escalate further, which represents a dangerous trend that must be stopped immediately, as he put it.