Three Hamas fighters charged with killing British Israelis killed by Israel
MISE À DAY
Three Palestinian Hamas fighters accused of shooting and killing three British Israelis in April were shot dead Thursday morning by Israeli forces during a military incursion into Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank .
The Islamist movement Hamas said in a statement that the three men, Hassan Qatnani, Moaz al-Masri and Ibrahim Jibril, were members of its armed wing.
Qatnani and al-Masri “murdered Léa (Lucy), Maia and Rina Dee on April 7 in a shooting attack near Hamra” in the West Bank, reported Shin Beth, the Israeli internal security service.
They were killed on Thursday morning “during a joint operation by Shin Beth, the army and the police,” the source said in a statement, adding that an accomplice, Ibrahim Jibril, was also killed in the exchange of fire.
An AFP journalist reported firefights in Nablus as dozens of Israeli army vehicles approached the Old City in the early morning.
The Palestinian Ministry Ministry of Health reported the deaths of three Palestinian “martyrs” in an Israeli operation in Nablus.
Calling the three men in a statement “heroes”, Hamas called on the Palestinian people “to continue in the path of jihad and resistance”.
“The killing by the Zionist occupation of the heroes of the resistance in Nablus will not prevent the continuation of the resistance operations,” he also asserted.
Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, praised Israeli forces “for neutralizing the terrorists who carried out the attack that claimed the lives of Lucy Dee and her daughters Rina and Maia,” according to a statement from his office.
< p>Lucy Dee, 48, and her daughters Rina and Maia, ages 16 and 20 respectively, residents of Efrat settlement, were shot dead in the northern West Bank on April 7.
Violence in Gaza
The northern West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, has been the scene of violence for more than a year.
On February 22, 11 Palestinians including fighters were killed and more than 80 people were shot and wounded in an Israeli raid in Nablus, the deadliest since 2005.
Thursday's incursion into the Palestinian Autonomous Zone comes after an outbreak of violence earlier this week between armed groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel, following the death of a Palestinian on hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
A Palestinian was killed and five others injured overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in Israeli strikes on Gaza, carried out in retaliation for firing rockets at Israeli soil, before the entry into force of a truce announced Wednesday by the armed movement Islamic Jihad. Israel has not commented.
The number of Palestinians killed since the start of the year now stands at 105. Nineteen Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian were killed during the same period, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli and Palestinian sources.
These statistics include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, including minors, and on the Israeli side, the majority civilians including minors, and three members of the Arab minority.