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JENIN: Israeli forces on Wednesday killed three people in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, the Palestinian health ministry said, in a pre-dawn raid the military said targeted group.

Residents told AFP that Israeli forces entered Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp just after midnight (2200 GMT on Tuesday) and raided several houses.

The area in the northern West Bank is a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups and the frequent target of Israeli military incursions.

The health ministry said two men, Muhammad Sabti and Hamza Harawi, were killed in an air strike, and Ayman Azouqa was shot dead by Israeli troops.

Four other people were wounded during the raid, the ministry added.

The Israeli military said “an aircraft eliminated two armed terrorists, another terrorist was eliminated by sniper fire”.

It said one of those killed had hurled “explosives at the force”.

Several “wanted persons” were arrested, the military added.

Soldiers also “destroyed a vehicle in which explosives were found” and confiscated weapons, it said.

Witnesses told AFP that the forces used bulldozers to destroy roads in Jenin and its refugee camp.

The military said it had discovered explosive devices buried under roads.

Mourners gathered in the streets of Jenin Wednesday for a funeral procession. The crowd carried the men’s bodies, preceded by gun-toting men shooting in the air.

In a separate incident in the nearby town of Qabatiya, the Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli army fire during clashes with Palestinians wounded three young people on Wednesday.

The military did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, has seen a surge in violence over the past year and particularly since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7.

Israeli raids have increasingly seen the use of aircraft, which had been very rare in the territory until several months ago.

At least 444 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers across the West Bank since October 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The ongoing war in the Gaza Strip erupted after Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel which resulted in around 1,160 deaths, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 32,490 Palestinians, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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