JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces disguised as Palestinians killed the local leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday, Palestinian security sources said.
The sources identified him as Ala Abu Srour and said another Islamic Jihad gunman was wounded in the raid by the undercover troops.
An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said Israeli soldiers and paramilitary border policemen, in a joint operation in Jenin, fired at a vehicle in which three gunmen were travelling.
She did not give any details about casualties but said the Israeli force found two assault rifles and ammunition clips in the vehicle.
Israel says raids against Palestinian militants help to foil attacks against its citizens. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, where the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas holds sway, say such operations harm chances for peacemaking.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed a 13-year-old Israeli Arab boy and an Islamic Jihad gunman during a raid in the village of Seida, near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, Palestinian ambulance crews said.
The boy, from a town in southern Israel, had been visiting relatives in the village, the medics said.
The Israeli army said the gunman and one other person, whom it did not identify, were killed in exchanges of fire during the operation in Seida.
Israel recently stopped pursuing its list of 178 wanted Fatah fighters in the occupied West Bank in a bid to boost Abbas after the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.
But it has carried on targeting Islamic Jihad, a group that has carried out numerous attacks against Israelis since the start of a Palestinian uprising in 2000 and opposes Abbas’ efforts to revive peacemaking with Israel.
Israeli soldiers crossed into the Gaze Strip on Friday and killed two Palestinian gunmen who had opened fired at them near the border fence, the army said.