Israeli troops, Palestinian fighters clash, 3 dead

A counter-terrorism raid hits a West Bank refugee camp

MOHAMMED ABED/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE EXPLOSIONS light up the night sky as Israel’s Iron Dome missiles hit rockets launched from Gaza City by militants.

Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters clashed in a refugee camp in the West Bank leaving three dead.

The Palestinian health ministry said all fatalities in the encounter in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus belong to the                                                                     Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party.

The latest deaths come just over a week into a fragile Gaza ceasefire after a five-day cross-border conflict between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group.

The Israeli army said it had shot several fighters for firing at them during a “counterterrorism” operation in which it also arrested three individuals.

Witnesses told AFP that Israeli forces raided several houses in the camp overnight in search of people wanted by the army.

Gunfire and loud explosions rocked the camp, the witnesses said, adding that a house was demolished.

The army, meanwhile, said it had “located in one of the residences an explosives manufacturing site” and detonated it.

The army also reported clashes in an operation in Jenin where it said suspects hurled explosive devices and fired at the soldiers, “who responded with live fire.” It said that in two cases “a hit was identified.”

Israeli forces arrested three suspects in Jenin and seven others in other parts of the West Bank, it added in a statement.

The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

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