JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli forces killed three Palestinians on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, and the Islamic Jihad militant group identified two of the dead as its gunmen.
Witnesses said the two were killed when undercover Israeli forces exchanged fire with Palestinians during a pre-dawn raid in Jenin. Israel’s border police said its forces came under heavy gunfire during an operation in the camp to arrest a suspect wanted for what it described as “terrorist activity”.
After he was detained, gunmen fired at the Israeli forces and a crowd of around 150 Palestinians threw fire-bombs, stones and an improvised grenade, the border police statement said.
The Israeli forces responded with live fire and suffered no casualties, according to the statement. The Palestinian Health ministry confirmed two Palestinians had been killed.
It said a third Palestinian was shot dead by troops near Bethlehem. Israel’s Army Radio said he was throwing rocks at soldiers and continued doing so after they fired warning shots.
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem – territories where Palestinians seek statehood – in the 1967 Middle East war. International criticism of its treatment of Palestinians has been growing since the last round of peace talks collapsed in 2014.
The Palestinian Authority, set up under interim peace accords with Israel in the 1990s, exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, but Israeli forces are dominant in the area, where they often carry out raids to detain suspected militants.
(Reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Nidal Al Mughrabi in Gaza and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem and Henriette Chacar in Jaffa; Editing by Stephen Coates, Andrew Heavens and Jonathan Oatis)