IDF: Islamic Jihad commander, 2 other gunmen killed by troops in West Bank

Ahmed Daraghmeh, commander of terror group’s Tubas Battalion, killed as troops raid northern West Bank city, refugee camp; soldier lightly hurt

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

IDF troops operate in the West Bank, early February 27, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operate in the West Bank, early February 27, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Three Palestinian gunmen, including a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander, were killed by Israeli forces in the northern West Bank on Tuesday morning, according to the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian health officials.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said two of the men were killed in Tubas, located about halfway between Nablus and Jenin in the West Bank. The third was killed in Far’a, a nearby refugee camp.

The ministry identified the men as Ahmed Jamal Daraghmeh, 26, Muhammad Samih Bayadseh, 32, and Osama Jabr Zalat, 31.

The IDF and Palestinian media identified Daraghmeh as the commander of a local wing of Islamic Jihad in the area, known as the Tubas Battalion.

According to the IDF, Daraghmeh was previously involved in shooting and explosive device attacks against troops operating in the West Bank. It said he was killed by troops of the elite Duvdevan unit during a counter-terrorism raid in the area.

The IDF said the other two men — Bayadseh and Zalat — were also gunmen and killed by the commandos. The troops also found a command room where local terror operatives would use surveillance cameras to observe army activity, it added.

One soldier was lightly wounded amid the raid, the IDF said.

According to PA official media Wafa, three other men were injured. One man, named as Muwaffaq Arabi Abu Dawas, was arrested.

The IDF said that 14 wanted Palestinians were detained in overnight raids across the West Bank, including in Nablus and Hebron.

The Israeli military has intensified its near-daily raids across the West Bank in the aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 attack, in operations aimed at dismantling Palestinian terror groups including Hamas.

Since October 7, Israeli troops have arrested more than 3,250 wanted Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 1,350 affiliated with Hamas, according to security authorities.

Gunmen march ahead of the bodies of Said Jaradat and Yasser Hanoun, both draped in the flag of the Islamic Jihad terror group, on February 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The Palestinian Authority health ministry says that more than 400 West Bank Palestinians have been killed in that time.

Based on military estimates, the vast majority of those killed since October 7 were shot during clashes amid arrest raids, and many of them, according to data seen by The Times of Israel, were armed with either a firearm or an explosive device. The IDF is aware of at least three cases of uninvolved Palestinians being killed by troops in recent months, and a handful of cases of settlers killing Palestinians, which are still under investigation.

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