Palestinian factions in the West Bank, including Fatah, the leading party in the Ramallah-based government, have called for a general strike throughout the West Bank after Israel forces killed six Palestinians and injured 20 others in clashes in the West Bank early Tuesday. Five were killed in a raid on the Nablus headquarters of the Lions’ Den armed group and a sixth in violence near Ramallah, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
According to Palestinian sources, an exchange of gunfire between Israeli troops and members of the armed group, along with Palestinian Authority security forces, caused bombs that were assembled and stored at the site to explode, killing Lions’ Den leader Wadee al-Houh and three others.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also said al-Houh was among those killed in Nablus.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the others killed in Nablus as Mishaal Zahi Baghdadi, 27; Hamdi Sharaf, 35; Ali Antar, 26; and Hamdi Qayyim, 30.
The Israeli military said the Yamam police counterterrorism unit, intelligence officers, and the Shin Bet security agency were involved in the operation, which targeted a site “used by the main operatives of the Lions’ Den.” A statement by the army called the site a “headquarters and a workshop for making weapons” and said, “The forces detonated the explosive manufacturing site. During the activity, multiple armed suspects were hit.”
Local residents rioted during the operation, throwing explosive devices at the troops, the Israeli military said.
In Nabi Saleh, a village 9 miles north of Ramallah, Israeli troops killed Qusai Tamimi, 20, during clashes that broke out in protest against the Nablus raid.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement that “Abbas describes the continued assaults on Nablus as a war crime and the occupation government will bear responsibility for their aggression.”