West Bank shootings kill three Palestinians, two Israelis

Israeli forces kill three Palestinian 'suspects', followed by drive-by shooting in which two Israelis are killed.

    Israeli forces and medics at the scene of a shooting attack near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Ammar Awad/Reuters]
    Israeli forces and medics at the scene of a shooting attack near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

    At least two Israelis have been killed and two injured in a shooting in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in separate operations overnight on Wednesday.

    Israel's army said on Twitter that "a Palestinian opened fire at a bus stop killing 2 Israelis, severely injuring 1 & injuring others".

    Eli Bin, the head of Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services, confirmed to Israeli Army Radio that two people were killed in the shooting. Their identities were not immediately known.

    The shooting took place near the illegal settlement of Ofra, in the central West Bank. Israeli media reported that a passing car opened fire outside the settlement.

    On Wednesday night, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in separate operations over the span of six hours. They were suspects in alleged attacks on Israelis.

    Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man, Majd Muteir, after he injured two Israeli police officers in an alleged stabbing attack before dawn in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. One of the officers was moderately injured, the other lightly.

    Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for dawn prayers, and were heavily present in the streets of the Old City.

    In a separate event, Israeli police say security forces also shot dead a Palestinian accused of killing two settlers in the West Bank, following a two-month manhunt.

    Israeli forces killed Ashraf Naalweh, 23, during the arrest raid early on Thursday in Askar refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian security sources.

    The sources told Wafa news agency that an Israeli military unit raided the camp in the early hours and surrounded the house where Naalweh was staying. An exchange of gunfire ensued in which Naalweh was killed. The army has withheld his body.

    Naalweh, from Shweikeh, north of the city of Tulkarem, was the main suspect in the killing of two Israeli settlers in early October in the Barkan industrial area near the Israeli settlement of Ariel.

    Israeli forces conducted a widespread manhunt for him. His entire immediate family was arrested during the search and their home was constantly raided and ransacked, according to Wafa news agency.

    Cab driver killed

    During an overnight raid on another West Bank village, Israeli forces shot dead Salah Omar Barghouti, 29, suspected in a drive-by shooting on Sunday, in which seven Israeli settlers were wounded, including a pregnant woman whose baby later died, the Shin Bet security service said in a statement.

    Thousands of East Jerusalem Palestinians face demolition threat (2:16)

    Sunday's drive-by shooting also took place near the Ofra settlement.

    According to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, Barghouti was driving his cab when Israeli soldiers opened fire at his vehicle near Surda, north of Ramallah. Sources told Wafa that undercover Israeli forces seized Barghouti's body.

    Army units raided the Barghouti residence in the village of Kobar, north of Ramallah, and arrested his father and brothers, Wafa reported.

    They also raided a building in Ramallah after killing Barghouti and seized a car believed to be related to Sunday's drive-by shooting attack near Ofra.

    The Shin Bet's statement did not say if Barghouti was suspected of being the gunman or an accomplice. It said an unspecified number of other suspects were arrested.

    The Shin Bet announcement came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that those who carried out Sunday's drive-by shooting would be found and brought to justice.

    He spoke shortly after a Jerusalem hospital announced the death of the baby boy, delivered by emergency caesarean section after his mother was shot. She was 30-weeks pregnant.
         
    "We lost a few hours ago a newborn baby, four days old," Netanyahu said in an address to foreign media.  

    The Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, saluted the shooting and in a statement said it proved "resistance" was still alive in the West Bank.

    Israeli forces arrested a total of 56 Palestinians across the West Bank and Jerusalem early Thursday morning.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies