Tens of thousands of Palestinians have poured into the streets of Nablus city, north of the occupied West Bank, to take part in the funeral of six of their compatriots killed earlier on Tuesday by Israeli soldiers in a rare military assault in recent years.
The mourners denounced the Israeli killings and violence, and carried the Palestinian flag and black banners during the procession.
Wadi al-Houh, 31, Hamdi Sharaf, 35, Ali Antar, 26, Hamdi Qayyim, 30, and Mishaal Zahi Baghdadi, 27, were all killed in the Israeli violence while another 20 people were injured.
Meanwhile, Qusai Tamimi, 19, was also killed by soldiers in Nabi Saleh village, north of Ramallah, during clashes that erupted to protest the army assault on Nablus. He was laid to rest in his village.
Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces stormed the city of Nablus, followed by heavy military reinforcements, while hysterically opening fire at citizens in the city.
According to Wafa news agency, "sounds of shooting and explosions were heard and columns of smoke and flames were seen emanating from several neighborhoods" after Israeli forces stormed the Old City of Nablus during early hours of Tuesday, searching for members of the Lions' Den resistance group.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at different contact points in the West Bank during which the soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinian protesters causing several minor injuries.
Palestinian factions declare strike in Gaza
The Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip announced a general strike and mourning for the martyrs of Nablus, and call the Joint Chamber to convene immediately.
Israeli aggression in the West Bank has been on the rise in the wake of the increasing activity of the Lions’ Den resistance group, which seems to cause frustration to the Israeli apartheid regime.
According to al-Alam correspondent, the West Bank is an important and strategic region for the Zionist regime. The correspondent, Fares Sarafandi, said “the occupying regime is afraid of turning the resistance phenomenon of the Lions’ Den resistance group (known in Arabic as Arin al-Osoud) into a widespread phenomenon throughout the West Bank; therefore, it has been escalating its attempts to destroy the resistance group and its activity and arresting its members.”
Further commenting on the latest Israeli acts of aggression against Palestinians, especially in the West Bank, the reporter pointed out that Israeli is trying to applying the strategy of “mowing the grass” which was proposed four years ago by the Minister of military affairs Benny Gantz.
According to the theory, the Palestinians in the West Bank will not be allowed to form a resistance force capable of permanent confrontation, and this theory accurately interprets the current actions of the occupying regime, including widespread arrests, assassinations, attacks on Palestinians, pursuit of the resistance forces and efforts to end any resistance.
However, the Ramallah correspondent said, “The Zionist occupying regime could not neutralize the Palestinian resistance, because the Israeli apartheid regime must realize a reality in terms of the Palestinian resistance; the fact that any effort is a part of the whole when it comes to the resistance project."
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh mourned the six Palestinians, calling on the United Nations and international human rights organizations to urgently intervene to stop the aggression in which the occupation forces use anti-armor missiles and drones to target the people in their homes.
At least 180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the illegally occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year.