A Palestinian militant was killed by Israeli soldiers in a gunbattle in the West Bank on Wednesday, local medics and witnesses said. The militant, identified as Rafat Assus, 22, was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing affiliated with the ruling Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said medics.
Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers had carried out a raid near the West Bank city of Jenin where Assus and some other militants exchanged gunfire with them.
The latest gunbattle came one day after two Palestinian militants were killed by an Israeli air strike in northern Gaza Strip, including a member from the Al-Aqsa group. The other militant was from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
Since a Palestinian suicide bomber killed five Israelis in the Israeli city of Hadera last Wednesday, Israeli troops have stepped up military offensive against Palestinian militants in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The resurged violence dealt a severe blow to a shaky ceasefire reached between the Palestinians and Israel earlier this year and overshadowed the prospects of reviving the long-stalled peace process, reports Xinxua. I.L.