Two Palestinian militants were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers early today.One of the dead was tentatively identified as the leader of the Islamic Jihad military wing in the West Bank.
Soldiers took the bodies and the Israeli military did not release the names of those killed. One soldier was lightly injured.
The gun battle erupted during what the army said was an arrest raid in the Tulkarem refugee camp in the northern West Bank.
It began when a Palestinian opened fire on troops from a car, the army said. Soldiers returned fire, killing the man. Camp residents said the vehicle, a white Subaru, had been hit by dozens of bullets.
Nearby, an armed Palestinian aimed his weapon at soldiers and prepared to shoot at them, the army said. Soldiers opened fire, killing him.
A leader of Islamic Jihad said one of the gunmen killed today was Luay Saadi, leader of the group's military wing in the West Bank.
Islamic Jihad has been ambivalent about a temporary truce accepted earlier this year by its larger sister group, Hamas. Islamic Jihad has carried out a series of attacks on Israelis during the cease-fire, including two suicide bombings that killed a total of 10 Israelis, but said the attacks were sparked by Israeli truce violations.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, another violent group, identified the second gunman as one of its members, Majed al Askar. Al Aqsa has ties to the ruling Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, reports Ireland Online. I.L.