Four Palestinians, at least two of whom were members of terror groups, were shot dead Thursday by undercover Israeli forces during a daytime raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, the military and Palestinian media reports said.
In a joint statement with the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency, police said members of the elite Yamam counterterrorism unit entered Jenin and “neutralized” two wanted Palestinian gunmen, after receiving intelligence about their whereabouts.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry said four people were killed and at least 23 others were hurt in the raid, five of them seriously.
Palestinian media outlets identified the slain men as Yusuf Shreim, 29, a member of the military wing of the Hamas terror group, and Nidal Khazem, 28, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
They were both later claimed as senior members by their respective terror groups.
According to the Shin Bet, Khazem was involved in advancing “significant terrorist activity,” and Shreim was involved in the production of explosive devices and shooting at IDF forces in the West Bank.
— أنس الجمل (@Anas_A_Aljamal) March 16, 2023
The other two Palestinians were named by the PA health ministry as 16-year-old Omar Awadin and 37-year-old Luay al-Zughair.
The extent of their involvement in the clashes was not immediately clear.
Police said the Yamam officers opened fire and killed a third suspect who attempted to attack forces with a crowbar, and shot at several other gunmen in the area.
Graphic footage taken from a building above the scene showed the undercover forces shooting one of the wounded gunmen who was lying on the ground in the head from a close range.
Another clip appeared to show undercover forces retreating to a vehicle.
At one point, dozens of Palestinians were seen surrounding the car apparently used by the undercover forces, before gunshots ring out and the crowd disperses.
תיעוד מתוך ג'נין, ההמון מקיף ותוקף רכב פרטי שבו נסע הכוח הישראלי, במקום החל ירי מסיבי. ארבעה הרוגים ו19 פצועים מתוכם ארבעה קשה.שניים מההרוגים מוכרים כפעילים מרכזיים בגדוד ג'נין. האירוע יום חמישי בצהריים לפני חופשת שישי ולפני פגישת "הרגעה" המתוכננת ביום ראשון בשרם אשיח. pic.twitter.com/gHPpesup3s
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A local wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad said its members had clashed with the undercover forces who “carried out a cowardly assassination of resistance fighters.”
No Israeli officers or soldiers were hurt amid the raid, officials said.
— Newpress | نيو برس (@NewpressPs) March 16, 2023
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the IDF conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks. Those tensions have ramped up even further in recent weeks, featuring a cycle of deadly Israeli raids and Palestinian revenge attacks, as well as an uptick in settler violence.
On Sunday, Israeli troops killed three members of the Nablus-based Lion’s Den terror group.
Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent months have left 14 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.
At least 84 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.
Over the past year, Gaza-based groups — notably Islamic Jihad — have launched rockets at Israel in response to members being killed or arrested in the West Bank.