West Bank fighters say Israel war on Gaza inspires more resistance

Tea, coffee, and assault rifles lie on the table outside Maysa’s* front door in the Nur Shams refugee camp in the northern Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Every once in a while, she emerges with more trays of beverages and biscuits for the small group of young Palestinian fighters gathered in her alleyway under rows of fabric canopies covering the spaces between the camp homes.

“These are our sons, our souls. All they want is a dignified life,” says Maysa, a 40-something-year-old woman with a glowing face and warm smile.

“People all over the world, all countries, claim to be democratic and want to live free. What about our youth?

“They have no other option but the path of armed resistance,” she says, standing behind the seated fighters. “There are no more lands left – the occupation took everything.”

The fighters of the Nur Shams refugee camp are part of a wider phenomenon of re-emerging Palestinian armed resistance to decades of Israeli occupation in the West Bank.

Centred in the northern areas, it began in the Jenin refugee camp more than two years ago in June 2021 before spreading to Nablus, Jericho and Tulkarem among other places.

The development saw the rise of armed groups made up of young men aged 17 to 35, with the majority in their early 20s. With limited capabilities, the groups are focused on defence during Israeli military raids on the camps and attacking Israeli military checkpoints and illegal settlements.


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