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Israeli troops kill three Palestinians in West Bank gun battle

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the three people died when Israeli soldiers raided the town of Jenin.

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Mourners carry the body of Bara Lahlouh, 24, in the West Bank town of Jenin (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Mourners carry the body of Bara Lahlouh, 24, in the West Bank town of Jenin (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Mourners carry the body of Bara Lahlouh, 24, in the West Bank town of Jenin (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Israeli forces have shot dead three Palestinians and wounded at least eight others during a military operation in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The military said its forces came under attack and exchanged fire with militants.

The Israeli military has been carrying out near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank since a string of attacks earlier this year killed 19 people in Israel.

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Mourners gather around the body of Palestinian Bara Lahlouh (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Mourners gather around the body of Palestinian Bara Lahlouh (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Mourners gather around the body of Palestinian Bara Lahlouh (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Many of the arrest raids have been launched in and around Jenin, the home town of several of the attackers.

The military said it raided two locations in search of weapons. At the first, it says soldiers fired back after Palestinians opened fire and threw explosive devices at them.

On their way to the second location, they exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen in a vehicle, the army said.

Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi, the military chief of staff, said in a speech that three militants had been killed.

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Bara Lahlouh’s funeral at his family home in the West Bank town of Jenin (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Bara Lahlouh’s funeral at his family home in the West Bank town of Jenin (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Bara Lahlouh’s funeral at his family home in the West Bank town of Jenin (Nasser Nasser/AP)

The military said the troops confiscated rifles, a submachine gun and other equipment from the vehicle.

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Heavy exchanges of gunfire could be heard in videos circulated on social media. Later, footage showed a bullet-riddled vehicle with bloodstains and residents inspecting it.

Hundreds of angry residents gathered outside a Jenin hospital after the overnight raid, chanting “God is Greatest” and calling for revenge, before carrying the three bodies on stretchers through the town in a spontaneous funeral procession.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.

The last serious peace talks broke down more than a decade ago, leaving no end in sight to Israel’s 55-year-old military rule.


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