4 Israeli settlers killed, 4 more wounded in retaliatory Palestinian attack in West Bank
Four Israeli settlers have been killed and as many wounded in a retaliatory attack by Palestinians near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, a day after six Palestinians were killed during a violent Israeli raid in Jenin.
Israeli media reported the casualties on Tuesday afternoon and said that the shooting attack was carried out by “two Palestinians” in a gas station near the Israeli settlement of Eli, located between the West Bank cities of Nablus and Ramallah.
Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post said the two Palestinians opened fire on a restaurant at the gas station on Highway 60 near Eli, leaving four Israeli settlers dead and four others wounded.
The newspaper added that one of the Palestinians was shot and killed during an exchange of fire at the scene of the retaliatory attack. The martyred Palestinian was identified as Muhannad Shehadeh, a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
Hours later, Israeli forces killed the second Palestinian involved in the West Bank retaliatory attack. He was identified as Khaled Sabah.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the shooting attack was a “response to the crimes of the occupation in the Jenin camp yesterday and the storming of al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Separately, Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Selmi said the retaliatory attack was “a natural response to the escalating occupation crimes against the Palestinian people. Threats don’t frighten the Palestinian people.”
Six Palestinians were killed on Monday when Israeli military forces carried out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Dozens of others were also wounded as Israeli soldiers stormed the camp, backed by the rare use of helicopter gunships.
Meanwhile, Palestine's Shehab news agency confirmed the retaliatory attack near Ramallah and reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called for an emergency meeting to discuss the details of the Palestinian operation.
The news agency said the Israeli military declared a closed military zone in the Eli settlement for fear of further operations by the Palestinians.
Tensions have been running high in the occupied West Bank over the past year, with the Israeli military conducting violent raids under the pretext of detaining what it calls wanted Palestinians.
As a result of these attacks, at least 160 Palestinians, including 28 children, have lost their lives and many others have been arrested so far this year.