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IDF believes members of Hamas cell targeted in West Bank raid still on the loose

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A member of Israeli security forces carries flags of the Hamas terror group that were seized during clashes with Palestinian protesters near the West Bank settlement of Beit El, on October 8, 2015. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
A member of Israeli security forces carries flags of the Hamas terror group that were seized during clashes with Palestinian protesters near the West Bank settlement of Beit El, on October 8, 2015. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

Members of the Hamas cell that was targeted in a series of raids last night and early morning today are likely still on the loose, according to military assessments, The Times of Israel has learned.

Israeli security forces are currently reviewing the matter following the operations, in which at least five Palestinians were killed, four of them known members of terror groups. Two IDF soldiers were also seriously injured.

The fifth Palestinian fatality is believed to have been involved in a riot that broke out in the town of Burqin, following an arrest there.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said that the Hamas cell was planning to carry out terror attacks imminently.

The IDF is also investigating the circumstances in which the two soldiers were seriously injured, and increasingly believes that they were hit by friendly fire after a Palestinian gunman opened fire at them in Burqin.

The IDF raids were directed against a Hamas cell operating in the West Bank. Several other members of the group had been arrested in the preceding nights.

Though the military believes it struck a serious blow to the cell’s plans, it does not yet know if it has fully removed the threat posed by the cell.

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