In the latest episode of Israeli-Palestinian violence, three Palestinian gunmen were killed on Sunday when they attacked Israeli military personnel.
The Israeli military on Sunday said that Israeli personnel shot and killed three Palestinian gunmen on Sunday who opened fire on troops in the West Bank. A fourth gunman surrendered and was arrested, according to the statement.
There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials on the deaths or arrest. The affiliation of gunmen or their identities were not immediately known.
The Sunday's encounter follows back-to-back confrontations between Israeli personnel and Palestinian militants. On February 22, 11 Palestinians, including three militants, were killed in an Israeli raid in Nablus area of West Bank. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) said two of its commanders were among the three dead and Lion's Den said its members also fought the Israeli personnel.
The PIJ is the second-largest Palestinian terrorist group after Hamas that controls Gaza. It's committed to the destruction of Israel. The Lion's Den is also a Palestinian terrorist group that has attacked both Israeli military and civilians in West Bank.
"PIJ is dedicated to eradicating Israel and establishing an autonomous Islamic Palestinian state in the lands currently comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza...PIJ believes its goal of creating an Islamic Palestine can be achieved only through the destruction of Israel, and so jihad has become a central tenant of PIJ’s ideology. In pursuit of its jihadist ideology, PIJ has launched numerous bombing attacks against Israeli civilian targets," notes think tank Counter Extremism Project (CEP), adding that PIJ refuses to negotiate with Israel and rejects the proposed two-state solution.
Just this Thursday, three PIJ terrorists were killed in the West Bank's village of Jaba. The Thursday's raid followed multiple Palestinian terrorist attacks, notes The Times of Israel.
The ToI notes that a Palestinian man opened fire outside a Tel Aviv cafe on Thursday, injuring three. In the early hours of Friday, a Palestinian man was shot dead after he entered a settlement farm in West Bank with knives and several explosive devices. Later on Friday, a Palestinian teenager was killed after he threw an explosive at an army post in West Bank.
The Sunday's encounter comes amid near-daily Israeli raids in West Bank that Israeli authorities say are essential to combating terrorists active in the region. The three dead gunmen take the toll of Palestinians killed so far to 80, which include terrorists and militants who have carried out a wave of attacks in Israel.
The past year has been most violent in over a decade. The cycle fo violence began last spring after a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis that triggered near-nightly Israeli raids in the West Bank. Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, making it the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to the leading Israeli rights group B'Tselem. Palestinian attacks against Israelis during that same time killed 30 people.
(With AP inputs)