Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including a militant from the Islamist group Hamas, during a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank early this morning, emergency officials said, Reuters reported.
Israeli forces invaded the Nur Shams camp near the city of Tulkarm and a shootout with Palestinian fighters ensued, BTA reported.
The Israeli military said it carried out an “anti-terrorist operation” at the camp, dismantling an operational command center and finding dozens of explosive devices and bomb-making components.
“During the action, the suspects opened fire and hurled explosive devices at the forces, who responded by firing live rounds,” the military said in a statement.
Hamas said one of those killed belonged to its armed wing. However, there is no word on the identity of the other man who was reported to have been killed.
Israeli forces said one of their soldiers was slightly wounded in the shooting.
In the past year, violence in the West Bank has increased significantly, as there has been a sharp increase in special operations by Israeli forces, attacks by settlers on Palestinian settlements and attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, Reuters noted.
As day broke in the Noor Shams camp, residents inspected the roads, infrastructure and buildings damaged during the operation, which eyewitnesses said lasted about six hours.
The military said special engineering machines dug up the roads in the camp, uncovering a large number of hidden bombs and detonating at least one roadside bomb.
The UN refugee agency has registered about 13,510 people in the Noor Shams camp – descendants of Palestinians who were forced to leave or fled their homes during the 1948 war that accompanied the creation of Israel.