Two Israeli Soldiers Seriously Wounded by Friendly Fire in West Bank Operation

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A Palestinian burns tires near Jenin in th West Bank, today.
A Palestinian burns tires near Jenin in th West Bank, today. Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

An officer and a soldier from the elite Duvdevan military unit were seriously wounded by friendly fire overnight into Sunday during an operation in the West Bank to detain members of Hamas "who planned to carry out a terrorist attack," the military said in a statement. 

The two were wounded in a shootout in the West Bank village of Burkin, during which a Palestinian was also killed, the preliminary investigation revealed. The military said it is investigating whether the officer and soldiers were also hit by Palestinian fire. 

The officer and soldier were evacuated by a helicopter to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa to receive treatment. There was no immediate danger to their lives, the hospital said.

Palestinians gather at the site where three Palestinian were killed during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank, today. Credit: ABBAS MOMANI - AFP

Five Palestinians were killed overnight into Sunday by Israeli military during the West Bank operation.

The military said the arrests took place in five separate locations in the West Bank, adding that it is preparing for retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza

Three Palestinians were killed in Kafr Bidu near Ramallah and Israel is currently holding their bodies. The fourth Palestinian fatality killed in Burkin, Osama Soboh, was buried in the West Bank on Sunday. 

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According to IDF spokesperson Ran Kochav, the three killed in Kafr Bidu were Hamas operatives who were hiding in the village and opened fire at Israeli forces.

Kochav added that the three had met to discuss ways to execute a terror attack in Israel. Eight more Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the fire exchanges with the IDF. The army additionally arrested four Palestinians suspects in Jenin, Kafr Dan, Qabatiya and Burkin.  

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is en route to address the United Nations in New York, wished the injured troops a speedy recovery. Bennett added that the troops acted in the West Bank "against Hamas terrorists who were about to carry out immediate attacks."

"The performance of the soldiers and commanders in the field was as expected, and we completely back them," Bennett said.

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