Picture used for illustrative purposes only.
Israeli special forces killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian authorities said, in what an Israeli source described as possible misidentification during an operation targeting wanted gunmen.
One of the Palestinians killed was “suspected” of having carried out a shooting attack against Israeli soldiers, an Israeli security official said. The other two were members of the Palestinian Authority security forces who witnessed the initial exchange of fire.
The internationally-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) coordinates security with Israel in the West Bank despite long-stalled diplomatic talks. PA personnel seldom clash with Israeli counterparts and usually keep clear of Israel's West Bank raids, according to Reuters.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the overnight incident in Jenin, in which the Palestinian health ministry said a third person was also critically wounded.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the overnight incident in Jenin.
An Israeli security source said that a Palestinian gunman was killed. The source said Israeli special forces, some undercover, went into the town to detain gunmen suspected of having recently attacked Israeli troops.
The sides exchanged fire, resulting in the killing of one gunman and wounding of another, who was detained, the source said. Palestinian security officers, summoned from a nearby compound by the gunfire, shot at the Israelis, the source said.
"It appears that the unit they fired on was undercover," the source said. "Our forces fired back, apparently thinking that the shooting from the Palestinian security men was part of the clash with the wanted terrorists."
Palestinian officials did not immediately provide further details about the clash.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said an unidentified "terrorist" had approached security forces at the vehicle passage of the checkpoint, ignoring calls to stop and pulling a knife before being shot in the leg.
Tuesday's raid was aimed at arresting four Palestinians wanted for stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles and other recent attacks. It comes a day after Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of being behind a deadly blast in the West Bank last year.
The protest erupted over a settlement outpost near the town of Beita — one of dozens dotting hilltops in the West Bank in what Palestinians see as an ongoing Israeli land grab.
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