Israeli forces staged a daylight raid into Jenin in the occupied West Bank targeting the suspect in the killing of two Jewish settlers, leaving the suspect and at least five other Palestinian men dead, officials on both sides said Tuesday.
The Israel Defense Forces named the suspect as Abdul-Fattah Hussein Kharousha and described him as a “Hamas terrorist operative.” The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified Kharousha, 49, as being among the six killed in Jenin. The other five were all men in their 20s, the ministry said, and at least 11 others were injured.
Hamas issued a brief statement saying it “mourns the martyrs of the heroic Jenin camp,” but did not immediately claim Kharousha as a member.
IDF forces carried out a separate raid in the West Bank city of Nablus at the same time to arrest two sons of Kharousha, they said. They are “suspected of aiding and planning in the terror attack,” the military said, adding that they are in custody for questioning.
The raid is at least the third to take place in daylight this year. The previous two – one in Jenin and one in Nablus – each resulted in 11 Palestinian fatalities, including militants being targeted by the Israel Defense Forces, people clashing with the Israeli forces, and bystanders.
Jewish settler brothers Hillel Yaniv, 21 and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were shot dead as they drove through Huwara in the West Bank on February 26. They lived in the nearby Israeli settlement of Har Bracha.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation had “today killed the abominable terrorist who murdered in cold blood the two lovely brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv.” Netanyahu finished a brief video statement by adding: “As I say again and again, time and time again: whoever hurts us – his blood will be on his own head.”
During Tuesday’s raid in Jenin refugee camp, IDF forces surrounded Kharousha’s house, came under fire, and responded with shoulder-fired missiles, an IDF official told CNN.
Two IDF soldiers were injured in the operation, including one with potentially life-threatening injuries, the official said, adding that IDF forces had “trouble” leaving Jenin due to burning tires and roadblocks. The official asked not to be named briefing CNN on information which has not yet been released publicly.
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