Three Palestine gunmen killed by Israeli troops during an attack near NablusOn Tuesday. Israel's defense minister and army confirmed the incident.
Following the confrontation, the Islamist militant group Hamas asserted that the three individuals were its members and stated that they had died during the clash. In a tweet, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant revealed that the incident occurred at Mount Gerizim, a Samaritan community overlooking Nablus in the West Bank.
The IDF confirmed that its troops "engaged and neutralized" the gunmen, leading to the reported deaths according to Palestinian media.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry was informed of the fatalities, indicating that the bodies were in the custody of Israeli authorities. The individuals were identified as Noureddine Tayseer al-Ardah, 32, Montaser Bahjat Ali Salameh, 33, and Saad Maher al-Kharraz, 43, according to the ministry's statement.
Following the incident, the military wing of the Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the attack and hailed the slain gunmen as its members. In a statement, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades honored the trio for their actions, referring to them as "fighters" and "heroes of the heroic Nablus operation."
Surveillance camera footage captured the exchange of fire outside the Samaritan community. Upon searching the gunmen's car, the IDF discovered three assault rifles, a handgun, and other military equipment. Fortunately, no soldiers were injured during the incident.
We identified a suspicious car that stopped about 200 meters from us. Two of the terrorists got out of the car and started shooting at us. In a quick response, me and my two soldiers returned fire and engaged the gunmen. We then identified the third terrorist inside the car.- Lt. Yud, the commander of the forces guarding the community
The attack occurred shortly after Palestinian terrorists fired at a bus carrying Israelis in the West Bank town of Huwara on Monday night, fortunately causing no injuries. Over the past year, there have been several instances of Palestinian gunmen targeting military posts, troops patrolling the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians traveling on the roads.
Notably, earlier this month, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a store and a police cruiser within the Samaritan community, resulting in no injuries. The individuals responsible for that attack were subsequently killed by Israeli forces two days later. Tensions in the West Bank have remained elevated for the past eighteen months, characterized by frequent military raids and a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.
Over the past year, violence in the West Bank has escalated, marked by a rise in Israeli raids, Palestinian street attacks, and settler rampages in Palestinian villages. Particularly intense clashes have been observed in Nablus and the neighboring northern West Bank city of Jenin.