5 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in West Bank
Five Palestinians were killed and more than 20 wounded in an Israeli raid in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Among those killed was a commander of a local militia and several of its members.
The big picture: The operation focused on the "Lion's Den" militia, which formed in the old city of Nablus and was responsible for the majority of attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers in recent months.
Driving the news: The Israeli military said it conducted the operation against a safe house which was used for building improvised explosive devices. The Israeli forces exploded the safe house during the operation.
- Palestinian sources and Israeli military officials said both Palestinian security forces and gunmen from the local militia opened fire on the Israeli force that entered the city.
- Wadi al-Houh, a top commander in the local militia was killed in the battle with at least two of his deputies. Several other Palestinians were killed and it was not immediately clear whether all five were involved in the fighting.
Context: The operation was part of an escalating crack down by the Israeli security forces against the "Lion's Den" militia, which controls part of Nablus and doesn't adhere to the Palestinian Authority.
- The militia was formed by secular Palestinians in their 20s and early 30s who are not affiliated with Hamas, Fattah or any of the established organizations.
- The militia members used Tik-Tok to advertise their attacks and gain popular support that pushed the other established organization and even some Palestinian politicians to support them.
Flashback: Several days ago, a senior member of the militia was killed in an explosion of a motorcycle inside the old city of Nablus.
- The militia accused Israeli forces of planting the bomb to assassinate him.