Israeli forces kill three Palestinian gunmen in Jenin

"A terrorist squad was thwarted," armed forces chief Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi said in a speech. A local militant group that draws on members of Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad claimed the dead gunmen as its own, saying in a statement they had been "martyred while carrying out their holy duty in confronting occupation forces who raided Jenin".


Reuters | Jerusalem | Updated: 17-06-2022 16:05 IST | Created: 17-06-2022 15:50 IST
Israeli forces kill three Palestinian gunmen in Jenin
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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Israeli troops killed three Palestinian gunmen in the occupied West Bank on Friday in what Israel described as the foiling of an attack but the Palestinian leadership cast as a bid to hamstring next month's visit by U.S. President Joe Biden. The incident was the latest violence in Jenin, which has seen stepped-up military raids in recent weeks after men from the area carried out several lethal street attacks in Israel.

The military said troops operating in two parts of the town to confiscate weapons overnight came under fire, including from a car, and shot back, hitting several gunmen. "A terrorist squad was thwarted," armed forces chief Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi said in a speech.

A local militant group that draws on members of the Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad claimed the dead gunmen as its own, saying in a statement they had been "martyred while carrying out their holy duty in confronting occupation forces who raided Jenin". Another Islamist militant group, Hamas, said one of the gunmen was its member.

Much of the Jenin population is descended from refugees from the 1948 war of Israel's foundation, and hostility toward the neighboring state and its growing West Bank settlements remains strong. The town is also plagued by poverty and weak governance. During Biden's July 13-16 visit he will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders "to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people," the White House said.

Talks on Palestinian statehood collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett rejects sovereignty for the Palestinians, offering economic cooperation instead. Islamic Jihad and Hamas preach Israel's destruction. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office accused Israel of an "assassination" of the gunmen that could spark an escalation.

Israel's action "comes ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the region, in an attempt to avoid any political commitment," Abbas' office said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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