HEBRON, (AFP) — Two Hamas militants were shot dead by Israeli troops on Friday during an operation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, officials on both sides said.
The men, who were members of Hamas’ armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, were shot in the southeastern part of the city, known as H2, which is under Israeli military control.
Palestinian security officials named them as Maamun Natsheh, a 24-year-old militant from Hebron, and Nashat Karni, 33, who was a local leader for the group in the northern West Bank.
Witnesses said troops had surrounded a three-storey house in the southeast of the city before dawn, and opened fire on it before sending in bulldozers to destroy it.
The army confirmed there was an exchange of fire after Karni “refused to hand himself over,” a spokeswoman said, adding that the second body had been discovered later in the rubble of the demolished building.
Six other suspects had been arrested in the operation, the spokeswoman added.
A spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades vowed to respond to the operation.
“The resistance has the freedom to respond in any place and will not let our people down,” Abu Obeida told AFP in Gaza City, saying the operation would “not break the will of the resistance or stop the attacks.”