Israeli gunfire kills four Palestinians in West Bank clashes
Burning tires block the entrance of the Palestinian village of Burqin, west of Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.–AFP
An Israeli operation to dismantle a Hamas cell in the West Bank sparked fierce gun battles at multiple locations Sunday, killing four Palestinians, Israel's army and Palestinian official sources said.
Israeli army spokesman Amnon Scheffler gave the same toll to AFP, adding that the fatalities were all Hamas fighters killed during a joint Israeli operation to apprehend "terrorists."
Hamas confirmed its fighters had clashed with Israeli forces near Jerusalem and Jenin.
A Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said. The ministry said a Palestinian man from the village of Borqin west of Jenin who had been shot with a live bullet died from his wounds after reaching hospital.
Israeli public radio Kan reported early Sunday that troops were involved in gun battles with armed Palestinians near Jenin, which broke out as the army moved in to arrest "suspects" in the area.
An Israeli army spokesman told AFP it would comment on the incident later Sunday morning.
The Jenin governorate is a flashpoint area in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Four Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp last month by Israeli forces during heavy clashes.