Army says shootout with Israeli forces kills 2 Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces and armed Palestinians exchanged fire during an Israeli arrest raid in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank early Tuesday, leaving two Palestinians dead, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
One of those killed in the Jenin camp was identified as a 22-year-old member of the militant Islamic Jihad group; he had been shot in the head. The other was an 18-year-old.
In the arrest raid, Israeli troops from the paramilitary border police surrounded the home of the wanted man who eventually turned himself in.
An police statement said Palestinians opened fire from multiple directions twice during the raid, and that Israeli forces returned fire. As the Israeli forces left Jenin, dozens of people threw firebombs and a home-made grenade, drawing more Israeli fire, police said.
The Jenin camp has been a stronghold of armed men from the pro-Iran Islamic Jihad and the larger militant Hamas group. Islamic Jihad’s top political leaders are based in Syria and Lebanon, with some prominent members in Gaza, where it is the second largest militant group after the ruling Hamas.
The Jenin camp is part of the roughly 40% of the West Bank that is under Palestinian administration, but Israeli troops routinely enter those areas for arrest raids.
The killed 22-year-old Islamic Jihad member, Abdullah al-Hossari, had served 26 months in an Israeli prison before being released last August. Media reported that the other killed man, 18-year-old Shadi Najem, was unarmed.
The man arrested in the raid was identified as Amad Abu al-Hija, who had previously been imprisoned by Israel. His father had been the head of the Hamas military wing in Jenin until his own arrest two decades ago.