West Bank: Israeli Army Locks Down Nablus Amid Surging Violence
i24 News – Israel’s army on Wednesday placed a closure on Nablus, limiting entry and exit to the northern West Bank city with roadblocks and security checks following a surge in shooting attacks by Palestinian militants on Israelis.
The decision “is part of the increased security activity in the Nablus area,” the Israeli army’s Spokesperson Unit said in a statement, adding that some routes were left open for Palestinians to enter and leave following “a strict security check.”
It was unclear how long the closure would last.
Palestinian media outlets reported that Israeli troops also blocked the entrance to the nearby town of Deir Sharaf and several other villages with dirt mounds. The Huwara and Awarta checkpoints were also closed.
The lockdown came amid a surge of violence in the northern West Bank in recent months, with recurrent incidents between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers or settlers.
On Tuesday, 21-year-old First Sergeant Ido Baruch of Israel’s army was killed in a drive-by shooting near the Shavei Shomron settlement. The attack was claimed by the Lion’s Den militant group, which formed in Nablus as a response to the almost daily arrest raids in the area as part of the Israeli army’s Operation “Break the Wave.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that security forces would capture the gunmen who escaped the scene of the attack and that operations in the West Bank would “continue and intensify.”