In the West Bank, scenes of urban guerrilla warfare among Palestinians

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Youths throw rocks at local police armored vehicles, numerous shots with real bullets and burning streets. In Nablus, clashes between Palestinians show the growing chaos in the northern West Bank amid Israeli attacks.

On Tuesday morning, shops in the old town lowered their curtains amid clashes that created the appearance of urban guerrilla warfare.

The reason was the arrest, not by Israeli but by Palestinian forces, of Musab Shtayyeh, a prominent young leader of Islamist Hamas, a rival movement to President Mahmoud Abbas’ secular Fatah.

There, hundreds of very agitated Palestinian youth threaten the few journalists, fearing that their pictures will make it easier for the authorities to arrest them later.

In a tower overlooking the fighting in this city of nearly 200,000 people, the exterior windows of Al Hayat radio station and the public television studio, Palestinian Television, show many bullet holes.

“There are much deeper reasons for these clashes than the person of Musab Shtayyeh,” said a local Palestinian journalist who asked not to be identified.

“These young people are not Fatah, nor Hamas, nor Islamic Jihad, they are young Palestinians of a new generation, uninfluenced by anyone, who are angry with Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he added.

“Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it’s the same way of acting,” says Mohammed Mhawe on the street, a hip-hop-listening protester who lashed out at the PA’s “collaborators” and paid tribute to the “hero of Islam” Ibrahim Al Nabulsi.

– The “Lion” of Tik Tok –

Amid the spring’s spate of anti-Israel attacks that claimed 20 lives, Hebrew State forces stepped up their attacks in the north of the West Bank, particularly in Jenin, where the perpetrators had some of the attacks, but also emanated from Nablus.

These two cities are located in the “A” Zone of the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, where security is usually the prerogative of Palestinian rather than Israeli forces.

In Jenin, about 30 people were killed and 200 injured in 500 operations, compared to about 20 dead, 2,000 injured and 900 attacks in Nablus, according to data obtained by AFP from international organizations.

Overall, according to the data, 95 Palestinians have been killed in clashes in the West Bank this year, the highest number since 2016.

Amidst these tensions, Ibrahim Al Nabulsi, an 18-year-old fighter, united hundreds and even thousands of young Palestinians for his strong speech against Israeli forces and his call to unite “resistance fighters” beyond the sides.

On social media, especially on Tik Tok, the accounts of young Palestinians paying tribute to Nabulsi, nicknamed the “Lion of Nablus” and killed in an Israeli attack in early August, have proliferated in recent months.

At the market, vendors sell pictures, bracelets, earrings and necklaces with the image of Nabulsi, with his black beard and M-16 assault rifle in hand.

“Younger Ibrahim was cute. He loved design and decoration, but the injustice he saw around him led him elsewhere,” his mother Huda told AFP in front of photos of her eldest son.

“The young generation he federated is not crazy. They are young people who grew up under occupation, who only know the attacks and injustices and that makes them angry,” adds his father Alaa, without criticizing the Palestinian Authority, which he accused of being apathetic and agreeing with the Israelis .

“This increase in Israeli attacks on Jenin and Nablus weakens the Palestinian Authority,” he says.

– “The day after” –

For its part, Israel says it is stepping up attacks in the West Bank to “prevent” new attacks on its territory, and Prime Minister Yair Lapid reiterated that “it would not hesitate to act where the Palestinian Authority does not impose order.”

In an article referring to an “Intifada 3.0” following the Palestinian uprisings of 1987-93 and 2000-2005, Israeli military commentator Alon Ben David believes that the increase in Israeli attacks “reinforces the already-challenged status of Palestinians.” PA weakens”.

“Israeli officials have been saying for years that they must prepare for +the day after Abu Mazen+ (…) And that day has already come,” writes Alon Ben David in the pages of Maariv daily, referring to the Palestinian conflicts in context with the follow-up process of Mahmud Abas.

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