Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in occupied West Bank
The Israeli police said the men were armed and were “killed in a shoot-out”, in the predawn incident. “This is a terrorist cell that has been involved in terrorist activity against security forces recently, and was apparently on its way to another attack,” the police statement said on Saturday.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials. Palestinians at the scene reported on social media that the Israeli forces denied access to paramedics after three “resistance fighters” were killed at Arraba junction, to the south of Jenin in the West Bank.
Palestinian media reported a statement by the Islamic Jihad movement, where it confirmed the killing of three members of its armed wing, Al-Quds Brigades, by Israeli forces.
Referring to them as “martyrs”, the Palestinian group named the three men as Khalil Tawalbeh, 24, from Jenin, Saif Abu Libdeh, 25, from Tulkarm, and Saeb Abahra, 30, from Jenin.
Sources in the Palestinian emergency services said that the Israeli forces have kept the bodies of the three men and refused to hand them over to their families.
Speaking from Arrabeh near Jenin, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said witnesses reported heavy gunfire from the Israeli forces to which the three men responded who were also armed.
“One of the men seemed to have a will encouraging everyone to keep fighting,” said Ibrahim. “The ambulance arrived but was stopped from proceeding and the bodies were taken by the Israeli forces,” she said. “No funerals will be happening here today,” she added.
Tensions have risen over the past week after a string of deadly attacks in Israel.