Israeli forces killed three Palestinian terrorists overnight Wednesday during an operation in the village of Jaba’, located south of Jenin in Samaria.
The terrorists, members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, had opened fire on the forces from a moving vehicle. The soldiers returned fire, killing the gunmen, who were found in possession of explosive devices.
Palestinian media identified the fatalities as Ismail Fakhoury, 26, Nayef Malayshah, 25, and Ahmad Fashafsha, 22.
Two of the terrorists had been wanted on suspicion of involvement in shooting attacks in the area; the third was released from an Israeli jail last month.
No Israeli forces were injured in the exchange.
The operation comes two days after Israeli troops killed during a raid in Jenin the Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Israelis near the Arab village of Huwara on Feb. 26.
That terrorist, identified by Palestinian media as Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, a member of Hamas, shot dead brothers Hallel Menachem Yaniv (21) and Yagel Yaniv (19) while they were driving in Samaria, according to the IDF.
The United States on Tuesday expressed support for the Israeli counter-terror operation.
“Israel, as we have made the point before, has the legitimate right to defend its people and its territory against all forms of aggression, including, of course, those from terrorist groups,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price during a press briefing.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the soldiers who “eliminated the abhorrent terrorist who murdered the two wonderful brothers, Hallel and Yigal Yaniv, in cold blood.”
He continued, saying “our brave soldiers acted with surgical precision in the heart of the murderers’ lair. I commend them and send my best wishes for a swift recovery to our wounded. As I have said repeatedly: ‘Whoever harms us will pay the price.’ ”