IDF Nablus raid targets Al-Aqsa militants recruited by Hezbollah
Palestinian medics say IDF troops killed doctor in Nablus; Militant, three civilians said killed by IDF fire in Gaza City.
The Israel Defense Forces launched a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, believing that Hezbollah-backed militants were preparing to carry out attacks across the country, a military source said on Saturday.
The IDF destroyed a Nablus government compound where Israel believed the militants, members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades recruited by Hezbollah, were holed up.
"There were Hezbollah operatives in the building who were told by their leadership in Syria and Lebanon to send out attackers across Israel. That is why we were in such a hurry to get them," the military source told Reuters.
Earlier Friday, IDF soldiers killed a Palestinian doctor in Nablus as he tried to help wounded protesters in the West Bank, witnesses and medics said. The doctor had stopped to help three protesters after they were wounded in a clash with soldiers.
An IDF spokesman said soldiers shot at the demonstrators, who threw rocks and petrol bombs at the troops.
Palestinian medics said that the doctor was hit by an artillery shell and died from shrapnel wounds.
The IDF denied firing artillery shells in the area.
IDF forces raided Nablus this week to detain 30 wanted militants who had holed themselves up in a Palestinian Authority security compound.
Palestinian witnesses said the soldiers had detained half the group. After the remaining gunmen ignored calls to surrender, bulldozers began demolishing some structures inside the compound -- prompting the protests outside.
On Wednesday, IDF troops killed five militants in an offensive in Nablus, demolishing several offices in the compound.
Militant, three civilians said killed by IDF fire in Gaza City Four Palestinians, including three civilians, were killed early Friday by an IDF tank shell fired at the Gaza City home of a Hamas military wing operative, Palestinian sources said.
The IDF confirmed that troops fired a shell on the balcony of the house, saying that the soldiers opened fire only after they identified armed militants attempting to fire an anti-tank missile from the house. The army reported hitting two gunmen.
The casualties include a woman, her two sons and their cousin - one of whom is Mohammed Harara, the operative targeted in the strike.
IDF pulls out of Gaza refugee camp IDF troops pulled out of the Mughazi refugee camp in Gaza early Friday after a two-day sweep in which at least 15 people were killed, most of them militants.
Residents said tanks and troops were heading back toward the nearby Israeli border before daybreak. The IDF military confirmed that the incursion was over, but said it would continue operating there and in other places in the coming days in its campaign against Gaza militants.
Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets at a Negev kibbutz Friday, causing no injuries or damage.
After two days of battles in the Mughazi camp, Israeli forces left behind considerable destruction, leveling farmland, tearing up water pipes and knocking down electricity wires. Some people in the camp of 22,000 were trapped in their houses by embankments the Israelis built as tank emplacements, residents said.
Residents also said 15 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces for questioning were released before the troops pulled out.
New IDF policy: Attack arms caches in homes The IDF dropped Arabic leaflets in Gaza City on Thursday, warning it will attack homes where Palestinians hide weapons for militants and pressed ahead with a deadly sweep through a refugee camp.
Military officials told The Associated Press the army is adopting a new policy of attacking homes in civilian areas where weapons, such as the homemade rockets routinely fired into Israel, are hidden. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Palestinians to Hezbollah: Strike Tel Aviv In the West Bank city of Nablus, about 4,000 Palestinians demonstrated in support of Hezbollah in the fighting in Lebanon, calling on the militia's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to attack Israel with rockets.
"Nasrallah, our dearest, strike, strike Tel Aviv," the Palestinians shouted Thursday.