Three members of the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas were killed in an Israeli military operation in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Thursday. Hamas confirmed they were members of the group. They are responsible for an attack that killed three Israeli women last month. It was a mother and two daughters who came from Great Britain.
The men were hiding in an apartment in the old town of Nablus, it was said. On the basis of intelligence information, Shin Bet fighters and soldiers broke into the apartment. A third man, an accomplice of the two Hamas assassins, was also killed in an exchange of fire.
Disguised as an Arab
Palestinian television reported that the Israeli security forces were disguised as Arabs when they entered the city. Dozens of vehicles then came to reinforce. The building in which the men were hiding was attacked with rockets and destroyed. Because of the serious injuries, it is difficult to identify the bodies.
The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories has long been extremely tense. Again and again there are clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli military in the West Bank. The army has been conducting raids there since a series of attacks.
Since the beginning of the year, 102 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military operations, confrontations or after their own attacks. During the same period, 17 Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian were killed in attacks.
Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are calling for the areas to be a state of their own - with East Jerusalem as the capital.