Israel army says 5 Palestinians killed in West Bank raid

International Desk Published: 5 May 2024, 12:09 PM
Israel army says 5 Palestinians killed in West Bank raid
Palestinians walk in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 4, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant Hamas group. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli army said troops killed five Palestinian "terrorists" barricaded in a building during a 12-hour siege in the occupied West Bank on Saturday.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas, reported the death of three fighters, including its Tulkarem chief Alaa Adib.

An AFP photographer saw a heavy military deployment in the village of Deir al-Ghusun, near the northern town of Tulkarem.

Troops deployed a bulldozer to flatten a building and carried at least one body out of the rubble, the photographer reported.

Israeli forces "engaged in an extensive 12-hour counterterrorism operation in the Tulkarem area," the army and the Shin Bet security service said in a joint statement.

The Israeli army said troops had come under fire after entering the village to "neutralise a terrorist cell" and had "retaliated" with "live ammunition, shoulder-fired missiles and other weaponry".

An army drone registered two hits on the building before sappers moved in to "dismantle" it.

"The confrontation ended with the elimination of five terrorists, and the seizure of military gear and weapon components," the joint statement said.

A member of a counterterrorism unit of Israel's border police was wounded in the operation, it added.

The already restive West Bank has seen a surge in violence since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7. At least 496 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli troops or settlers, according to an AFP tally.

The Gaza war started with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,654 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory's health ministry.

Source: AFP