JABA, West Bank — Israeli forces raided a Palestinian village close to the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, killing three Islamic Jihad militants they said were suspected of carrying out shooting attacks in the area.
Islamic Jihad claimed the three fighters, who the Israeli military said were suspected of multiple shooting attacks in Jaba village, southwest of Jenin, as well as in the area of Homesh, a nearby settlement outpost that was evacuated in 2005 and is now home to a religious school.
The incident came on the same day U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel, where he was expected to discuss the growing violence on the West Bank.
In Jaba, residents said they heard intense gunfire early in the morning and saw a large Israeli force in the village, where the blood-spattered wreckage of the car in which the gunmen were killed remained in the street.
A Israeli statement said the gunmen had opened fire from their car when Israeli forces entered the area. It said two members of Islamic Jihad were killed as well as what it described as an additional armed suspect.
Jaba, where two Islamic Jihad gunmen were killed in January, has a large presence of armed militants from different factions and as mourners assembled for the funeral of the three killed on Thursday, fighters said the raids would not deter them.
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