JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — Israel says security forces killed three Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday who had been responsible for recent shooting attacks.
The Shin Bet internal security agency says the three were in a vehicle and were killed in a clash with security forces. No Israelis were killed or wounded in the shooting, it said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the three deaths.
Photos of the three men circulating online show them posing with assault rifles, with one wearing a headband of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed group loosely tied to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.
The militant group said the three men are “heroic martyrs” and vowed revenge in a statement circulated on a Fatah-affiliated social media group. It identified them as Ibrahim al-Nablusi, Adham Mabrouk and Mohammed al-Dakhil, without giving their ages.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz congratulated the security forces and said he had recently ordered stepped-up security in the area. “We will continue our proactive operations, and we will thwart and catch anyone who tries to harm human life,” he said.
Recent weeks have seen a number of stabbing and shooting attacks by Palestinians in the West Bank. An Israeli settler was shot dead near a settlement outpost in December.
Settlers have also carried out a number of attacks recently against Palestinians and Israeli activists, causing injuries and property damage but no fatalities.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state. Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers reside in the territory alongside more than 2.5 million Palestinians.