A minimum of 4 Palestinian gunmen have been killed in shootouts with Israeli safety forces throughout a sweeping West Financial institution arrest operation cracking down on the Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday, the Israeli army mentioned.
It was the deadliest violence between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants within the occupied West Financial institution in latest weeks and got here amid heightened tensions following this 12 months’s 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas within the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Well being Ministry mentioned a Palestinian was shot useless close to the northern West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin and three others have been killed in Biddu, north of Jerusalem. The Israeli army mentioned an officer and soldier suffered severe accidents in the course of the arrest in Burqin, close to Jenin, and have been airlifted to a hospital for medical therapy.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned in an announcement that Israeli safety forces within the West Financial institution moved in opposition to Hamas operatives “that have been about to execute terror assaults within the very fast future.”
He mentioned the troopers within the discipline “acted as anticipated of them” and mentioned his authorities gave them full assist.
Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, an Israeli military spokesperson, mentioned Israeli forces concerned in a joint operation with the Shin Wager inside safety company and the Border Police got here below hearth whereas finishing up arrests within the West Financial institution.
He mentioned the goal was “to cease a Hamas terrorist group cell that’s working in Judea and Samaria with an intent to hold out terror assaults,” referring to the West Financial institution by its biblical names.
He mentioned 4 Hamas operatives have been killed and a number of other others have been arrested within the in a single day operation.
The official Palestinian news company WAFA mentioned 22-year-old Osama Soboh was killed throughout clashes surrounding an arrest within the northern West Financial institution village of Burqin, close to Jenin. There have been no fast particulars on the deaths in Biddu.
Hamas, which guidelines the Gaza Strip, praised these killed as “heroic martyrs” however didn’t say whether or not any have been members of the militant group. It blamed their deaths on the “persevering with coordination” between the internationally acknowledged Palestinian Authority and the Israeli authorities.
Hamas spokesman Abdulatif al-Qanou blamed the rival Palestinian Authority, which has restricted autonomy over areas of the West Financial institution, saying latest conferences between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli officers “inspired the occupation once more to pursue the resistance.”
The Palestinian Authority, whose safety forces coordinate with Israel to suppress Hamas and different militant teams, condemned the killings and mentioned the Israeli authorities was “absolutely and straight chargeable for this bloody morning and the crimes dedicated by the occupation forces.”
Final month, Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen throughout a late night time raid in Jenin, killing 4 Palestinians. Current months have seen an increase in violence within the West Financial institution, with greater than two dozen Palestinians killed in sporadic clashes with Israeli troops and through protests.
Israel captured the West Financial institution within the 1967 Mideast conflict and within the many years since has established dozens of settlements the place practically 500,000 settlers reside. The Palestinians search the West Financial institution as a part of their future state and look at the settlements as a significant impediment to resolving the battle.