Jerusalem — According to Israeli officials, Israeli troops killed five Palestinians early Sunday in an armed clash on the west bank of the occupied Jordan River. They said the shootout took place during a series of attacks aimed at stopping terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.
Two Israeli soldiers were also seriously injured in one of the shootouts. The military said they were investigating whether they were injured in the Israeli fire.
The military sector of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls the coastal areas of Gaza, claimed three of the dead as its members. The Islamic Jihad in Palestine, an Iran-backed radical group, claimed the fourth to be its “martyr.”
The raids took place simultaneously in the Genin region on the north west bank of the Jordan River and in the central region between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Israeli spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Amnon Chefler said the five night raids were carried out by masked forces and special police counterterrorism forces. He said the armed men killed and the four additional arrested were all part of a network that was planning a terrorist attack.
Colonel Schaeffler did not elaborate on these plans because of operational needs and limitations. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that armed men were “trying to carry out a terrorist attack in real time.”
“Soldiers and commanders on the scene acted as expected. They engaged the enemy and we fully supported them,” Bennett added.
The office of President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Autonomous Government, which has limited control over the West Bank, has accused Israeli security forces of what is called the “murder” and “field execution” of Palestinians. The very unpopular Mr. Abbas has recently been criticized by Hamas and other Palestinians for strengthening involvement and security coordination with the new Israeli government.
The Sunday event took place four months after the fierce cross-border aerial battle between Israel and a group of radicals in Gaza. At that time, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority’s biggest rival and Israel’s sworn enemy, emerged as a defender of the Palestinians in Jerusalem. West bank.
The Israeli assault also came this month after the escape of six Palestinian prisoners, mostly from the Islamic Jihad War, from the largest security prison in northern Israel. The Palestinians celebrated their escape and were disappointed when the last two of the fugitives were captured in their hometown of Genin a week ago.
“The blood of the martyr will not be wasted,” Hamas leadership in Gaza said in a statement on Sunday. Calling for further destabilization of Palestinian leadership on the West Bank, “the brave Palestinian masses on the West Bank should escalate resistance to the occupiers at all points of contact.” rice field.
Brig, Israeli chief military spokesman. General Ran Kochaf publicly states that Israel is preparing for the possibility of launching rockets from Hamas-operated coastal outposts because of the loss of Hamas and the desire to create a connection between the West Bank and Gaza. I told the radio.
Israeli troops said the attacks took place in Genin, Kuhuldan, Kabatiya, Bourkin, on the northwestern bank of the Jordan River, and in the village of Bidu, northwest of Jerusalem. The Islamic Jihad claimed that Osama Yasir Sobo, who was killed in a gun battle in Bourkin, was one of its members. Two Israeli soldiers were injured here. Palestinian Authority officials have identified the second Palestinian killed in a conflict in Brukin as Yusuf Soboh, 16 years old.
The three Hamas alleged were killed in what the army described as a gun battle with a special police counterterrorism unit in Bidu.
Iyad Abuheweila contributed to the report from Gaza.