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Israel kills 7 Palestinians in WBank raids

Written by: Staff

Jenin, West Bank, May 14 : Israeli troops today killed seven Palestinians in two separate raids, medics said, in the worst day of violence in weeks in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian medics said four gunmen from the Islamic Jihad militant group were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers in the town of Qabatiyeh, near Jenin. Two other civilians were killed in the raid, they said.

Israeli media said one of the militants killed was suspected of involvement in a mid-April suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed 11 people and had been the worst such attack in Israel in two years.

Two of the dead militants were brothers, medics said.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the raid in Qabatiyeh but said soldiers exchanged fire with gunmen during a raid in Jenin to detain wanted militants, and reported one Palestinian was hit by gunfire there.

Palestinian sources said the soldiers shot dead Ali Omar Jabarin, a 21-year-old intelligence officer, and wounded four of his colleagues during a gunbattle at their Jenin headquarters.

The death toll was the worst for a single day since Israel killed eight militants in a Gaza air raid on April 8.

Israel mounts frequent military raids in the West Bank against suspected militants. Some members of the Palestinian security forces also belong to armed groups behind attacks on Israelis.

Earlier in the Gaza Strip, masked gunmen shot and wounded a Palestinian bodyguard for an intelligence chief reporting to President Mahmoud Abbas, security officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, another case of internal violence in the Gaza Strip where rivalry between the governing Hamas group and Abbas's Fatah faction has led to bloodshed in recent weeks.

Separately, an Israeli naval vessel intercepted a Palestinian boat off the coast of Gaza, confiscated several hundred kilograms of military-grade explosives and mines, and arrested its Palestinian crew, the army said.


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