“I am not surrendering. My brother and I are under siege. God will not forgive those who sold us out,” one of the terrorists said in a voice recording.
By World Israel News Staff
At least 10 Palestinian terrorists were killed and 102 were wounded during clashes which began with an intense gun battle between IDF soldiers and two men wanted on terror charges in the Old City of Nablus (Shechem) on Wednesday morning.
The IDF said in a statement that no Israeli security forces were wounded in the clashes.
According to Hebrew-language media reports, the clashes occurred during an arrest operation targeting two Lions’ Den operatives, Hussam Aslim and Muhammad Janaydi Abu-Bakar. Both men were part of a squad that launched a deadly shooting attack on IDF troops in October 2022, which killed Sgt. Ido Baruch.
Troops from the Golani Brigade, the elite counter-terror Yamam unit, and the Border Police surrounded a home where Abu-Bakar and Aslim had barricaded themselves inside.
‘We will not give ourselves up’
After calling on the two wanted terrorists to surrender, troops fired smoke grenades and shoulder-propelled missiles at the home, in an attempt to force the men to leave the building.
Instead, the men began firing at troops, sparking an intense gun battle that lasted for several minutes. Videos circulating on social media from the clashes show smoke rising from the building where Aslim and Abu-Bakar were hiding, and rapid gunfire could be heard.
שכם: חילופי אש בין כוחותינו למחבלים רימוני עשן, דיווח על ירי טיל לבית… pic.twitter.com/CcOjb5GxOF
— חדשות הימין בטוויטר (@HdswtHymyn) February 22, 2023
“I am not surrendering. My brother [Abu-Bakar] and I are under siege. God will not forgive those who sold us out,” Aslim said in a voice recording that he posted to his Facebook page, translated by Ynet.
“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger,” he added.
יממ סיירת גולני ומגב כעת בקסבה של שכם בסגירה על מבוקש pic.twitter.com/AcGiqunKoP
— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) February 22, 2023
“We remained men and did not run away, and we will not give ourselves up. We are on the path to martyrdom,” Abu-Bakar said in his own Facebook post.
A spokesman from the Islamic Jihad terror group confirmed that Aslim and Abu-Bakar were killed during the gun battle, calling them a “living example of sacrifice and courage” and emphasizing that they set an example “that every Palestinian should follow.”
The Lions’ Den terror group sent messages via social media platforms calling on locals to attack IDF soldiers, Ynet reported.
“Go out into the streets and burn the ground under the feet of the occupation,” the message urged. “Shame on everyone who carries a gun and will not take it to the field of honor and manhood!”
Dozens appeared to heed the message, with locals shooting at troops and hurling rocks and explosive devices.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said that at least 10 people were killed, with Hebrew language media reporting that the majority of them were members of the Lion’s Den.
At least 102 people were said to be wounded, with five of them in critical condition from gunshot wounds.
‘Resistance in Gaza is watching’
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that “the Israeli occupation is escalating its aggression against the Palestinian people with its invasion of… Nablus and besieging some of its citizens.” He added that the “new extremist, fascist occupation government has made plans to continue its aggressive agenda against the Palestine people.”
Another spokesman, Abu Abida, said that “the resistance in Gaza is watching the increasing crimes of the enemy against our people… its patience is running out.”
Notably, the threats from Hamas did not include promises to fire rockets from Gaza or any other specific action.
After the May 2021 Guardian of the Walls Gaza-Israel clash, IDF officials said they had successfully destroyed much of Hamas’ infrastructure in the coastal enclave.
Since 2021, the terror group has repeatedly warned that it will launch retaliatory rocket attacks against Israel – most recently, when Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount – but has been unwilling or unable to follow through on those threats.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, a rival of Hamas which is designated as a terror group by Israel and the U.S., released a statement condemning the raid on Wednesday afternoon.
“The occupation carried out another massacre in Nablus with its aggression this morning and the blood of children and the elderly was spilled and houses were destroyed,” the PLO said.
“We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop these massacres and provide protection…for our people. We call on the American [Biden] administration to put pressure on the Israeli government and force it to stop its aggression and destructive measures.”
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