Jerusalem and Gaza
At least 10 Palestinians were killed Wednesday during a major Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank that also left more than 100 injured, Palestinian officials said.
Israeli authorities said Wednesday’s operation targeted three suspects “planning attacks in the immediate future.” The three were “neutralized,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel Security Agency said in a joint statement.
In the unusual daytime raid, Israeli forces entered Nablus in the West Bank.
The Islamic Jihad militant group said two of its commanders were killed in ensuing clashes with Israeli troops.
The Lion’s Den militant group also confirmed its members were involved in the fighting, but did not say if any of their members were killed.
All three of the suspected Palestinian militants targeted by the IDF were killed, a list of the dead released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health shows.
Six of the dead were men in their 20s, the ministry said. One was 16, one was 33, one was 61 and was was 72. All were men, the ministry list of dead shows.
An IDF statement said earlier that two of those killed were from the Lion’s Den militant group and that one was from Islamic Jihad.
The names of at least two suspects released by the IDF – Hussam Esleem and Waleed Dakheel – appeared to match names of the dead released by the Palestinian health ministry. The IDF said one was shot while fleeing and the other two were killed in an exchange of fire with the military.
Israeli authorities said that suspects threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and “explosive devices” at Israeli forces.
The raid brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to 61 this year, the Palestinian health ministry said. That number includes people shot as they attacked Israelis, militants being targeted in raids, people clashing with Israeli forces during raids, and bystanders, CNN records show.
Eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks this year: seven in a shooting near a synagogue, three in a car ramming attack, and a border police officer who was stabbed by a teenager and then shot by friendly fire from a civilian security guard.
IDF raids into the West Bank usually occur overnight; the last time the military conducted a daylight operation, they said it was because of an immediate threat.
The Palestinian health ministry said five of the dead were men in their 20s. One was in his 30s, along with a man who was 61 and one who was 72.
In addition, the ministry said 104 Palestinians were injured “with live ammunition … six of them in critical condition.”
Islamic Jihad’s armed faction in Gaza, the Al Qassam Brigade, warned they are “watching the enemy’s escalating crimes against our people in the occupied West Bank, and its patience is running out.”
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