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Israeli forces kill wanted terrorist commander in West Bank gun battle

Israel Police raid uncovers a large number of explosives and weapons

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces in Hebron following an Israeli military raid in Nablus, in which Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades commander Ibrahim Nabulsi and two others were killed, August 9, 2022. (Photo: Mamoun W/Reuters)

The wanted terrorist commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades was killed on Tuesday during a fierce gun battle with Israeli forces in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, the site of biblical Shechem. 

Two other terrorists were killed along with commander Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, and an additional 40 locals were reportedly wounded during the intense fighting. 

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is the military wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Martyrs’ Brigades played a prominent role during the Second Intifada terror campaign against Israel in the early 2000s. 

Al-Nabulsi reportedly had been on Israel’s most wanted list for years for his involvement in numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria, including assaults on the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb outside Nablus. 

Al-Nabulsi, known locally as “The Lion of Nablus,” previously escaped several Israeli attempts to arrest him. In late July, al-Nabulsi narrowly escaped during another lethal gun battle between Israeli forces and terrorists in the same area. 

The operation was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid for the effective coordination between the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Border Police and the Israeli Security Agency. 

“I commend the joint action of the security organizations – ISA, IDF and the Israel National Counter-Terrorism unit of the Israel Police – which led to a highly successful, precise action, without [Israeli] casualties,” Lapid said.

“The ISA has again proven its intelligence superiority against the terrorist organizations,” Lapid said. “I would like to thank the men and women of the ISA who took part in the operation for their daring, creativity and determination to find and strike terrorists in places that they mistakenly assume will be a safe haven for them.”

Yamam, the elite counterterrorism unit of the Israel Police, released a statement confirming, “in the raid carried out in the location he was staying, a large number of explosives and additional weapons were found.” 

Roy Zweig, the IDF’s Samaria Regional Brigade commander, stressed that the Jewish state “will not allow sanctuary cities” for terrorists in the West Bank. 

The commander further stressed that Israel’s long arm will eventually reach every terrorist considered a threat to Israel’s security. 

“We will get to every terrorist and go anywhere we need to,” Zweig said. 

While there were no Israeli human fatalities during the military operation, the seasoned Israeli counterterrorism dog Zili was killed in action in Nablus. Zili had previously reportedly taken part in numerous counterterrorism operations. 

Israel Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai praised Zili in an official statement. 

“Unfortunately, during activity in Nablus, 9-year-old Zili was killed, a four-legged real fighter,” Shabtai said. 

The Israeli police chief also recalled Zili’s bravery in previous dangerous anti-terrorism operations. 

“In 2019, Zili entered a multi-story building in Ramallah and found and overpowered the terrorist who killed Ori Ansbacher, until the counterterrorism unit arrived to arrest him,” Shabtai said. 

Shabtai stressed that Israeli forces originally intended to only arrest al-Nabulsi and the other terrorists but had to resort to force when met with violent resistance. 

“Whoever resists and risks the lives of police officers and soldiers will get a determined, strong response from the forces of Israel Police,” Shabtai said. 

The Israeli counterterrorism operation took place less than two days after the Israeli government and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization reached a tense ceasefire following three days of intense fighting in Gaza and hundreds of rockets raining on Israeli cities. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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