By Ali Sawafta
JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, including at least two militants, in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, medical officials said, as months of violence continued.
The Israeli Armed Forces said its soldiers carried out an operation in the city of Jenin, which has been the epicenter of many of the recent clashes, seeking to arrest two Palestinians suspected of involvement in “terrorist activities”.
During the arrest operation, Israeli forces said the soldiers were “targeted with direct fire and responded with live ammunition fire, the shots were identified”.
Three Palestinians were killed, medical officials said. The Islamic Jihad organization claimed that one of them was a member, and his body was seen draped in the militant group’s flag at his funeral.
Residents told Reuters that two of the men killed were known around town as armed fighters. The third man was a civilian passing by at the time of the shooting, according to residents.
Hours later, medical officials said a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The army said it opened fire on a group who threw rocks and bottles at passing cars.
Ghassan al-Saadi, who said he witnessed the Jenin incident, told Reuters he saw Israeli snipers fire at cars in front of him. He said troops also fired on ambulances when they arrived to remove two men who were lying on the ground.
Israeli forces said they were not aware of such information.
(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Henriette Chacar)
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