Battle of Nablus

Battle of Nablus

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Nablus
date=April 5-8, 2002
partof=Operation Defensive Shield

place=Nablus, West Bank
result=Israeli victory
combatant2=flagicon|Palestine Fatah (Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Tanzim)
commander1=Yitzhak Gershon
Aviv Kochavi
Moshe Tamir
commander2=Nasser Badawi
Nasser Awais
Husam Badran
strength1=2 regular infantry brigades
1 reserve armored brigade
casualties1=1 dead
casualties2=78 dead (8 civilians)
Hundreds captured
The Battle of Nablus was fought from April 5 to April 8, 2002 in the Palestinian city of Nablus in the West Bank between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian forces, as part of Operation Defensive Shield in the Second Intifada. It resulted in an Israeli victory.


Of all the West Bank towns, the IDF General Staff was particularly concerned about the expected resistance in Nablus, and especially in its Casbah. Hamas and Fatah had launched dozens of suicide bombers. Despite a previous successful raid on Balata, the General Staff still estimated hundreds of armed men would be entrenched in the city, causing the IDF heavy casualties. Two days after the start of Defensive Shield, an extension of the operation north of Ramallah, to Nablus and Jenin, was approved. Originally, the mission was given to a reserve division, but was later transferred to the more experienced West Bank Division. The division's commander, Brigadier General Yitzhak Gershon, received two regular infantry brigades, the Paratroopers Brigade and the Golani Brigade, along with a reserve armored division. A private contractor allowed the commander of the 890th battalion to use a construction site for training for three days.Harel and Isacharoff (2004), p. 251] There was a near-mutiny among one reserve armored platoon, who claimed they were not properly trained for urban warfare. High ranking armor officers eventually talked them into joining the operation.


The Casbah was attacked by two battalions simultaneously, using two different fighting methods. The Golani troops pushed hard, using Achzariot armored personnel carriers, and many of the Palestinian fighters fled to the western part of the Casbah, which was entrusted to the paratroopers. The Palestinians were deployed in small squads, consisting of two to four members, with each squad in charge of a sector. Explosive charges were set between the alleys and shooting positions were taken. Nasser Badawi, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades commander, said "We are waiting for the Israelis to get out of their armored vehicles and fight us on the ground".

The paratroopers were advancing by sending several small forces at the same time to take over houses in the Casbah and confusing the Palestinian fighters regarding the real state of affairs. Often, the Palestinians would open fire on Israeli forces, thus exposing themselves to snipers from another direction.Harel and Isacharoff (2004), p. 252] The IDF also used helicopters to fire rockets.Cite news
last = Sherwell
first = Philip
title = Helicopter raids fail to shift Palestinians in the casbah
work = Telegraph
accessdate = 2008-09-25
date = 2002-04-06
url =

On April 8, the Palestinians announced their willingness to surrender. According to a later lecture by the Paratroopers Brigade commander, Colonel Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli Chief of Staff (Ramatkal), Shaul Mofaz, was unhappy with the fact that two other Palestinian towns, Qalqiliyah and Tulkarm, had surrendered almost without Palestinian casualties. Mofaz argued that it was better not to leave armed men in Nablus, who would resume their attacks on the IDF after the withdrawal. The acceptance of the surrender was postponed by two hours, during which the paratroopers killed more Palestinian fighters.Harel and Isacharoff (2004), p. 253]


About seventy Palestinian fighters and eight civilians were killed. The IDF had one officer killed by friendly fire. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested. High ranked wanted persons, such as Nasser Awais of Fatah and Husam Badran of Hamas fled east to Tubas. They were arrested a week later. The IDF also claimed to have exposed explosive labs.Cite news
last = Frisch
first = Felix
coauthors = Ali Waked, Diana Behor
title = Chief of Staff: 200 Palestinias killed since the start of the operation
work = Ynet
accessdate = 2008-09-25
date = 2002-04-07
url =,7340,L-1815269,00.html
he icon] According to UNESCO, hundreds of buildings were affected. Sixty-four were severely damaged, seventeen of which had "particular heritage significance". Four buildings were completely destroyed.Cite conference
publisher = UNESCO
title = World Heritage 29 COM
accessdate = 2008-10-09
date = 2005-07
url =
] The United Nations estimated the property damage at $110m.Cite news
title = UN puts West Bank damage at $300m
work = BBC
accessdate = 2008-10-09
date = 2002-05-07
url =



*Cite book
publisher = Yedioth Aharonoth Books and Chemed Books
isbn = 9655117677 9789655117677
last = Harel
first = Amos
coauthors = Avi Isacharoff
title = The Seventh War
location = Tel-Aviv
date = 2004
he icon

External links

*Cite news
last = Bennet
first = James
title = In Nablus's Casbah, Israel Tightens the Noose
work = New York Times
accessdate = 2008-09-25
date = 2002-04-08
url =

*Cite news
last = Bennet
first = James
title = Medics Move Wounded Palestinians Through Battle Zone
work = New York Times
accessdate = 2008-09-25
date = 2002-04-09
url =

*Cite news
last = Goldenberg
first = Suzanne
title = Grim respite in Nablus reveals casbah toll
work = The Guardian
accessdate = 2008-09-25
date = 2002-04-09
url =

*Cite conference
publisher = Gush Shalom
title = Report on the Destruction to Palestinian Institutions in Nablus and Other Cities
accessdate = 2008-10-09
date = 2002-04
url =

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Battle of Jenin — Part of Operation Defensive Shield …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Karameh — Part of the War of Attrition Israeli soldiers deployed during the Battle of Karameh …   Wikipedia

  • Nablus — This article is about the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank, and its predecessor, the Roman city of Flavia Neapolis. For the biblical city of Shechem, at approximately the same location, see Shechem. Nablus Other transcription(s)… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Arsuf — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Arsuf caption= partof=the Third Crusade date=September 7, 1191 place=Arsuf result=Crusader victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=Richard I of EnglandRobert de Sable commander2=Saladin strength1=20 …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Hattin — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Hattin caption=The Battle of Hattin, from a medieval manuscript partof=the Crusades date=July 4, 1187 place=Hattin, near Tiberias result=Decisive Ayyubid victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=Guy… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Cresson — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Cresson caption= partof=Crusades date=May 1, 1187 place=Near Nazareth result=Ayyubid victory combatant1= combatant2= commander1=Gerard de RidefortRoger de MoulinsKIA commander2=Al Afdal ibn Salah al… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Ascalon — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Ascalon caption= partof=the First Crusade date=August 12, 1099 place=Ashkelon, Israel result=Crusader victory combatant1=Crusaders combatant2=Fatimids commander1=Godfrey of Bouillon Robert II, Count of …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Al-Sannabra — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Al Sannabra caption= partof=the Crusades date=1113 place=Kinnaret, Israel result=Seljuk Turkish victory combatant1=Kingdom of Jerusalem combatant2=Seljuk Turks commander1=Baldwin I of Jerusalem… …   Wikipedia

  • Council of Nablus — Coat of arms of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The Council of Nablus was a council of ecclesiastic and secular lords in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, held on January 16, 1120. It established the first written laws for the kingdom. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Garnier de Nablus — was Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller from 1190 to 1192. He fought at the battle of Arsuf under Richard the Lionheart. Legend has it that when he was pressed by the Muslims during the battle, he rode forward in person and asked Richard to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.