Israel troops kill 3 militants in West Bank raid

Israeli troops killed three Palestinian militants during an overnight raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, the military said on Wednesday.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed at least one death in the Israeli operation, the latest in a months-long military crackdown across the occupied West Bank since Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel.

"In a joint counterterrorism activity in the city of Jenin, IDF soldiers apprehended 14 suspects, killed three terrorists and struck additional terrorists," the army said in a statement.

"During the activity, the soldiers located weapons and exposed explosive devices planted under routes in order to attack IDF soldiers."

It said soldiers came under fire during the operation and an Israeli aircraft struck militants.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Israeli troops stormed the city during the night.

"An undercover Israeli force besieged two houses in the camp sparking violent confrontations during which three Palestinians were also injured," Wafa said, adding that troops also struck "a house with a missile" in the adjacent refugee camp.

Marwan Aref Ali, father of one of the men killed in the raid, said his son had been arrested and wounded several times before.

Ali came to know about his son's death from an Israeli army officer.

"The officer switched on his mobile phone and said to me 'Is this a picture of Arif?' I said yes," Ali told AFP, tears welling in his eyes.

- 'Be patient' -

Later on Wednesday, Palestinian gunmen led a crowd of mourners in a funeral procession for the son, an AFP photographer reported.

Charred vehicles and bullet-pocked walls bore testimony to the fierce clashes in the overnight raid.

Three sons of Siham Ahmed Qasim Jaber were arrested, she told AFP, adding she was visiting her ailing daughter late Tuesday when she heard that troops had entered her house.

"I tried to go back but I was told that there were snipers and I could not return," she said.

"What will we do? We have to remain patient," she said, pointing to a picture of one of her sons.

Jenin has been the focus of repeated Israeli raids which have often led to clashes with Palestinian militants.

The city's refugee camp is one of the most crowded and impoverished in the West Bank and has become a hub of militant activity in recent years.

Violence was already on the increase across the West Bank and has only escalated since the war in Gaza erupted.

The territory has seen frequent Palestinian attacks on Israelis and near-daily raids by the Israeli military that often turn deadly.

Israeli troops and settlers have killed at least 400 Palestinians in the West Bank since the Gaza war began, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah.

Israel captured the West Bank -- including east Jerusalem, which it later annexed -- in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967.

The Palestinians claim the territory as the heartland of their future independent state.

Source: Agence France Presse

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.