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Five Palestinian 'terrorists' killed in Israeli raids across West Bank

·2-min read

Watch: Israeli troops kill Hamas militants in West Bank: military

Israeli troops killed five Palestinians, reportedly including a teenager on his way to school, during raids on what the army said were Hamas cells in the West Bank this weekend, marking the worst hostilities since the Gaza war in May.

In an overnight series of five operations across the West Bank, the Israeli military said they killed five Hamas gunmen and arrested several others when shootouts began. 

Two soldiers - including an officer - were critically wounded in one of the incidents, the spokesperson added.

Mourners carry the body of Osama Sobh, a Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes near Jenin - JAAFAR ASHTIYEH /AFP
Mourners carry the body of Osama Sobh, a Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes near Jenin - JAAFAR ASHTIYEH /AFP

On a flight to New York, where he is addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the Hamas men were "about to carry out terrorist attacks".

But one of the Palestinians killed was a 16-year-old walking to school when he was shot, according to his uncle. 

An Israeli military spokesperson said, "as far as we are concerned, all those killed were armed Hamas operatives, taking part in firefights", but added he was checking the relative's information.

Palestinian kids inspect the scene where Hamas militants were killed by Israeli forces in a gun battle during a raid in Beit Anan - MOHAMAD TOROKMAN /REUTERS
Palestinian kids inspect the scene where Hamas militants were killed by Israeli forces in a gun battle during a raid in Beit Anan - MOHAMAD TOROKMAN /REUTERS

Palestinian news site WAFA, also reported that a 22-year-old named Osama Soboh was killed during clashes surrounding an arrest in the northern West Bank village of Burqin.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killings, branding them “ugly crimes” and warned that should the policy of “summary executions” continue “it will cause the situation to explode”. 

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, confirmed that four of its men were killed in the West Bank operations. It did not include the name of the fifth fatality in its list.

It called on Palestinians in the West Bank "to escalate resistance against the occupier in all areas", raising the spectre of further fighting.

The Israeli military said it was also preparing for retaliatory rocket fire from the group in Gaza.

It comes as the IDF has warned that Hamas ramped up weapons production since the May 2021 conflict, putting growing pressure on the fragile ceasefire declared after 11 days of fighting.

“They continue to manufacture thousands of rockets and upgrade their offensive capabilities, including rocket ranges and underground tunnels, attack UAVs [and] naval forces,” Lieutenant Colonel Amnon Shefler, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces told the Sunday Telegraph.

Violence in the West Bank has been on the rise in recent months with increasing retaliatory fire to Israeli raids.

Last month the Israeli army killed four Palestinians in Jenin during an operation that led to armed confrontations.

Watch: Palestinian stabs two in Jerusalem

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