Israeli troops killed 5 Hamas militants in gun battles throughout raids on Sunday towards one of many group’s cells within the occupied West Financial institution, an Israeli navy spokesperson mentioned.
The shootouts marked the deadliest violence between Israel and Hamas since an 11-day Gaza battle in Could and threatened to lift tensions alongside the Israeli border with the coastal enclave and within the West Financial institution.
Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, an Israeli military spokesperson, mentioned Israeli forces concerned in a joint operation with the Shin Wager inner safety company and the Israel Border Police got here beneath fireplace whereas finishing up arrests within the West Financial institution.
The Palestinian Well being Ministry mentioned two Palestinians have been shot lifeless close to the northern West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin, and three others have been killed in Biddu, north of Jerusalem. The Israeli navy mentioned an officer and soldier suffered critical accidents throughout the arrest in Burqin, close to Jenin, and have been airlifted to a hospital for medical remedy.
An uncle of one of many Palestinians killed mentioned he was a 16-year-old strolling to high school when he was shot.
A navy spokesperson mentioned that “so far as we’re involved, all these killed have been armed Hamas operatives, collaborating in firefights,” however added he was checking the relative’s info.
Israeli officers have lengthy voiced concern that Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, intends to achieve power within the West Financial institution and problem its rival there, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), heightening safety dangers for Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah celebration misplaced management of Gaza to Hamas in inner combating in 2007, accused Israel in a press release of “area executions towards our folks.”
Hamas referred to as on Palestinians within the West Financial institution “to escalate resistance towards the occupier in all areas” after the raids. Hamas mentioned 4 of its males have been killed within the Israeli operation, and it didn’t embrace the identify of the fifth fatality in its listing.
An Israeli navy spokesperson mentioned troops carried out 5 raids within the West Financial institution “in an effort to cease a Hamas terrorist group cell from working” and launching assaults.
The Palestinian Well being Ministry additionally mentioned 5 Palestinians have been killed, however it didn’t specify whether or not they belonged to Hamas. The Palestine Purple Crescent ambulance service mentioned 4 different Palestinians have been wounded.
PM says Hamas was planning assaults
On a flight to New York, the place he addresses the United Nations Basic Meeting on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned the Hamas males have been “about to hold out terrorist assaults.”
He mentioned Israeli forces “engaged the enemy, and we again them fully.”
Israel captured the West Financial institution and Gaza in a 1967 battle. It withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
The PA, which seeks a Palestinian state within the West Financial institution and Gaza, workout routines restricted self-rule within the territory beneath interim peace offers with Israel. Hamas advocates Israel’s destruction.