JERUSALEM (AP) — At least four Palestinian gunmen were killed in shootouts with Israeli security forces during a sweeping West Bank arrest operation cracking down on the Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday, the Israeli military said.
Sunday’s violence was the deadliest between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks and came amid heightened tensions following this year’s 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a Palestinian was shot dead in Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, and three others were killed in Biddu, north of Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that Israeli security forces in the West Bank operated against Hamas operatives “that were about to execute terror attacks in the very immediate future.”
The Israeli military said that troops involved in arrests in the West Bank came under attack as Palestinian gunmen fired on soldiers. It declined to provide further information.