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Israeli forces kill several armed militants in raid -army statement

aftermath of israeli raid near jericho
Bullet holes are pictured on a door at the scene where Israeli forces killed a number of armed fighters during a raid at a refugee camp near the city of Jericho in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 6, 2023. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Israeli forces killed a number of armed fighters during a raid on a refugee camp near the city of Jericho on Monday aimed at capturing suspected Hamas militants, according to a statement from the Israeli military.

It said the targets of the raid were suspected of an attempted attack on a restaurant in the Israeli settlement of Vered Yeriho on Jan. 28.

The Palestinian health ministry said three people had been wounded, one critically but it gave no details on any dead.

The raid came during a period of heightened tensions that have drawn fears of a further escalation in violence and prompted calls for calm on both sides from the United States and international bodies including the United Nations.

Israeli forces have carried out months of raids in the West Bank in the wake of a spate of deadly attacks in Israel last year and forces have been put on high alert after a lone Palestinian gunman shot seven people near a synagogue on Jan. 27.

The military said Monday’s raid in the Aqabat Jabr camp was aimed at capturing a group of militants belonging to Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza, who it said were barricaded in a house in the camp and were planning further operations following the attempted restaurant attack.

On Jan. 28, it said two armed individuals appeared in a restaurant in the Vered Yeriho settlement, where around 30 people were present, but fled before carrying out an attack after a weapon malfunctioned.

Over the past week, it said security forces had conducted a number of operations to try to find and arrest the suspects.

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