By Hadis Hosseini

vengeful lion

March 18, 2023 - 5:16

TEHRAN- Who are Palestinians? They are heroes who die young and rise to fame quickly. Although sometimes their achievements go unnoticed, they never give up and continue on their path. One of these heroes was Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, who was as brave as a lion and martyred at the age of 18.

Ibrahim al-Nabulsi (1992-9 August 2022) was a Palestinian militant and a senior commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. He served as the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the West Bank, earning the nickname "The Lion of Nablus". He survived several Israeli assassination attempts and made high-profile appearances at the funerals of fellow Fatah militants. On August 9th, 2022, he, along with Islam Sabbouh and Hussein Jamal Taha, were killed in an Israeli raid on their barricaded home in Nablus.

Mr. al-Nabulsi grew up in his family's century-old house on a hill and was an accomplished swimmer. His father, Alah, is a junior major in the preventive security agency. A former prisoner in Israel, he joined the force tasked with suppressing opposition to the 1994 Oslo peace accords. "I believed in something great: a state, the peace that Israel never wanted to give us," said Alah. "My son's generation is angry with us, and their resistance is legitimate." When he was a schoolboy, Ibrahim used to throw stones at soldiers in the south of Nablus. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Adham Mabrouka. The early years of al-Nabulsi's life coincided with Israeli military crimes in Jenin refugee camp and Nablus between 2001-2004. In adolescence, people called him "Namrood." According to those who knew him, before becoming a resistance fighter, al-Nabulsi was a typical teenager who was both just and fierce. As a child, al-Nabulsi was remembered as a "Nimrood," a term borrowed from the biblical story of Nimrod to signify the spirit of a rebel that refused to submit to authority.


Ibrahim joined his two friends in a cell at the age of 15 in the spring of 2019. He was wanted by Israel, and they told their friends that they had been tortured. Ibrahim's mother, Houda, found him "more aggressive" when he was released. "He wanted to take revenge on Israel." Ibrahim wasn't yet 16 years old and escaped. He went into hiding.

18-year-old Nabulsi was assassinated along with another fighter, Islam Sbbouh, after Israeli forces invaded the city of Nablus and besieged a house where they were located in the Old City of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank. Israeli forces and special forces (Yamam) infiltrated the old city of Nablus, hidden in civilian merchandise trucks, while large numbers of reinforcements stormed the city from several entry points. The forces surrounded a house in the Al-Yasmina neighborhood where Nabulsi and a group of fighters were located.

Nabulsi managed to escape alive after heavy fighting, while two other fighters, 25-year-old Mohammad Azizi and 28-year-old Abdul Rahman Jamal Suleiman Sobbh, were struck by live ammunition in the chest and head. Both were killed on the spot.
He attended his friends’ funeral and became known as the “lion of Nablus”

 Nabulsi’s appearance at that funeral alarmed the Israeli media, and the official Israeli channel “Kan” said at the time: “After escaping from army forces, the Palestinian wanted man for whom the military operation in Nablus was dedicated arrived to attend the funeral of Palestinians who were killed during clashes.”

Israeli authorities accuse Nabulsi of being behind “dozens” of shooting attacks on their soldiers, which led to one Israeli officer's injury and several settlers.

He and his friends were surrounded in the old town of Nablus. The Israeli Army had announced that it had surrounded Ibrahim Nabulsi's house in the Old City of Nablus. According to the Israeli army, they used a shoulder-fired missile in their raid, leading to the killing of the Palestinian commander. The assassination immediately resulted in mass protests and clashes in Nablus between Palestinians and Israeli troops. Several Palestinians were reportedly wounded as a result.

It is difficult to explain how popular Ibrahim Nabulsi was and how many people wanted to be like him - a hero and brave. The young commander became a national symbol for daring to show up unmasked to funerals in defiance of the Israelis every time they tried to kill him.

The words of al-Nabulsi's mother, Um Eyad, were inspiring. She said, "I don't even want to afford them my tears. Ibrahim is a martyr, al-hamdulilah." The words didn't console her heart, but at least they allowed for a placement of her grief on a hope for change. At the hospital, as the doctor apologetically said her hero "was martyred," Um Eyad told a throng of mourners: "They are mistaken if they think they killed Ibrahim. Everyone is Ibrahim."

Ibrahim's last words

Ibrahim's last words were, "I love you so much. If I am martyred, guys, I love my mother. Take care of the homeland after I'm gone, and my final will to you, on your honor: don't let go of the rifle - on your honor. I'm surrounded, and I am going towards my martyrdom. Pray for me." One journalist reflected on these words and how they impacted him deeply. He noted that while thousands of Palestinians have been killed by Israel, Ibrahim's death felt different because we seldom hear the last words of our martyrs. Instead, we are left with only their dismembered bodies and pale faces to imagine their thoughts.

According to Ibrahim's father, he was hunting the Israeli Occupation Forces rather than being hunted by them. Whenever he heard about an Israeli army raid, he was the first to go out and confront them. This was his fate, and his family praises God for it.

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