The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement says fellow Palestinian compatriots should keep up “armed resistance” against Israeli occupation in the West Bank, after one of the regime’s military commanders was wounded by gunfire in clashes in Nablus.
In a statement on Thursday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum hailed the Palestinians’ resistance in Nablus and said “constant, pervasive and endless confrontations with Israel’s occupying regime should persist and escalate in all towns and villages across the West Bank.”
He was reacting to the clashes that broke out in the early hours of Thursday over the desecration of Joseph’s Tomb, located on the outskirts of Nabuls, by Israeli settlers who made their way into the site under protection of the regime’s military.
Israeli forces fired tear gas and bullets at the Palestinians protesting the desecration, wounding 64 of them, including children, Iran’s al-Alam TV channel reported.
Following the regime’s raid, Israeli media reported that three Israelis, including two settlers and one military commander, Roy Zweig, were wounded by gunfire.
Joseph's Tomb is situated in the West Bank’s Area A, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority; however, the Israeli military allows the settlers to visit the site without approval, and even escorts them into the place.
Palestinians believe an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yussef Dweikat, was buried there two centuries ago and the Palestinian office of religious sites considers it to be an Islamic archaeological monument.
The Hamas spokesman further said that the Zionist regime’s acknowledgment of the injuries shows that the Palestinian resistance is “strong enough to inflict losses on the enemy, enforce new rules of engagement and push up costs of any raids or incursions targeting the Palestinian nation.”
He added that the armed struggles aim to thwart the regime’s conspiracies, prevent it from achieving any of its goals, and liberate the entire soil of Palestine.
In a similar desecration attempt, on Sunday, more than 150 Israeli settlers, escorted by military forces, intrude into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, in the latest act of provocation against the sacred site.
The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state and view al-Quds’ eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.