Five Palestinians Killed as Israeli Army Carries Out Arrests in the West Bank

The IDF says it is preparing for retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza ■ Bennett says the troops acted against 'Hamas terrorists who planned immediate attacks'

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Israeli soldiers near Jenin, earlier this month.
Israeli soldiers near Jenin, earlier this month. Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh - AFP

Five Palestinians were killed Sunday by Israeli military fire in an operation to arrest wanted suspects in the West Bank.

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

Three Palestinians were killed in the village of Kafr Bidu near Ramallah and Israel is currently holding their bodies. The two other Palestinians were killed in Burkin in the northern West Bank. One of them, Osama Soboh, was buried in the West Bank on Sunday.

Ahmed Zahran who was killed at the shooting incidence in Kafr Bidu.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement on Sunday that Soboh was a member of the organization’s al-Quds Brigades military wing.

“We call on all the factions to act together and in cooperation with the al-Quds Brigades to fight the Zionist enemy,” the statement further read.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is en route to address the United Nations in New York, said that the Israeli 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 added.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned in a statement "the heinous crime committed by Israel in the Jerusalem and Jenin area and the killing of five Palestinians."

The first exchange of fire took place in Jenin shortly after midnight as Israeli forces detained an armed Palestinian. It was followed by the pursuit of another armed Palestinian in the northern West Bank village of Kafr Dan.

At the same time, Israeli soldiers carried out three arrests in Qabatiya and in Burkin, where Palestinians opened fire at Israeli troops.

According to IDF spokesperson Ran Kochav, the three Palestinians 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 carry out a terror attack in Israel. Eight more Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the fire exchanges with the IDF. The army also arrested four Palestinians suspects in Jenin, Kafr Dan, Qabatiya and Burkin.

Also on Sunday, a general strike was called in the village of Kafr Bidu to mourn the deaths of its three village residents.

Hamas spokesperson Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua blasted the Palestinian Authority saying that "the killings are a direct result of the security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the meetings between PA and Israeli officials."

“The blood of the dead will fuel the Palestinian uprising against the occupation and our determined actions against it," Al-Qanoua added.

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