NABLUS: Israeli forces killed three Palestinians on Tuesday during a daytime raid against what Israel described as a “terrorist cell”, leaving a vehicle in the West Bank city of Nablus riddled with bullet holes.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised the raid and said he had ordered an increase in “counterterrorism activities” due to recent shootings in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel’s army since the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinian health ministry and Israel’s security forces both confirmed the three deaths.
Israel’s border police and internal security agency, the Shin Bet, released a statement identifying the dead as “armed terrorists who were… killed during clashes with the security forces”. The Palestinian Authority condemned the raid as a “summary execution”.
Israeli police said the three were responsible for recent shooting attacks on Israeli troops and civilians, adding that no Israeli personnel were hurt in the operation.
Sources in the Palestinian Fatah movement identified two of the dead as Adham Mabrouk and Muhammad al-Dakhil, who they said were affiliated with the militant Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.
According to a Palestinian security source, “Israeli soldiers who were in a civilian vehicle intercepted a Palestinian vehicle and directly fired at it, which led to the deaths of three young men”. AFP reporters in Nablus saw a bullet-riddled windshield of a silver car that witnesses said Israeli forces targeted.
The witnesses, who requested anonymity citing security concerns, said one of the vehicles carrying Israeli forces was a yellow taxi.
Defence minister Gantz said the raid “eliminated the terrorist cell that carried out shooting attacks in recent weeks”, while Prime Minister Naftali Bennett boasted in a tweet that “terrorists have no immunity”.