Israeli troops kill three Palestinians near Jenin in West Bank

The men were shot in their vehicle by undercover agents in the town of Jaba

Israeli undercover agents shot three Palestinian militants in their car, near the West Bank town of Jenin. Reuters
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Undercover Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in an overnight attack.

The troops opened fire on a vehicle in the town of Jaba, south of Jenin, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Another man was arrested and the contents of his house "completely destroyed", it reported.

The shooting comes two days after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a Jenin raid, prompting militants in Gaza to fire rockets at Israel.

A total of 77 Palestinians have been killed this year, with 2023 set to be the deadliest in decades.

Last year, more than 150 were killed - the highest since 2005.

The ministry identified the dead as Sufyan Fakhouri, Naif Malaisha and Ahmad Fashafsha - all in their 20s.

Israel forces said the men were Islamic Jihad militants and opened fire first during an arrest operation. They claimed the men were planning attacks on Israeli soldiers.

Another Palestinian man was taken to hospital with head wounds, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Austin in the region

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is currently touring the region to defuse mounting tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, fuelled by the new Israeli administration - the most right wing in its history.

In a meeting in Amman, Jordan's King Abdullah told Mr Austin the surging violence in the occupied West Bank is threatening regional stability and must be calmed.

The cities of Jenin and Nablus have suffered the worst violence this year, with 30 killed in Jenin and 18 in Nablus, according to figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Both cities are home to militant groups Israel blames for attacks on Israelis, including a wave of violence last year that killed more than 30 people.

This year began with a similar cycle of violence, with ten killed in a Jenin raid after a Palestinian gunmen killed seven people outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem.

The raid was widely condemned, including by the UN which called on the international community to "ensure accountability".

Updated: March 09, 2023, 8:27 AM