On Sunday, the Israeli army reported that three Palestinian gunmen were killed by Israeli forces after they opened fire on troops in the occupied northern West Bank near Nablus.
The military claimed that “gunmen opened fire” on an army position west of Nablus, prompting a “live fire” response from the troops stationed there.
The Israeli army said in a statement that no soldiers were hurt during the gunfight because “three armed gunmen were neutralized during the exchange of fire” and another armed gunman voluntarily turned himself in.
According to the Israeli military, members of the elite infantry Golani reconnaissance unit captured three Palestinian M-16 rifles and a pistol.
Even Palestinian security and medical personnel were in the dark about what happened.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to office in December as part of a governing coalition with ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right allies has exacerbated the violence that was already present in the West Bank last year.
Netanyahu’s government, who is currently on trial for corruption charges he denies, has vowed to keep building settlements in the West Bank even while he is in jail.
On Thursday, an armed Hamas member opened fire outside a Tel Aviv cafe, killing one and wounding three men in their 30s.
Israeli forces had been conducting an operation in the northern West Bank for hours, killing three armed Palestinians.
On Tuesday, several Palestinian armed groups demanded retaliation for the recent deaths of six Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli army in a raid in the northern West Bank.
Hours after Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin called for de-escalation in advance of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan beginning in March and the Jewish holiday of Passover beginning in April, terrorists attacked the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.
Following brief meetings with Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, Austin urged the “Palestinian leadership to combat terrorism, to resume security cooperation, and to condemn incitement.”
The army reported on Thursday night that bomb disposal experts had detonated a suspicious package found on a bus in Beitar Illit, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank southwest of Jerusalem.
The army claims that on Saturday, they apprehended a man from a nearby Palestinian village who they believe was responsible for planting the bomb on the bus, as well as four other people who they believe helped him.
More than eighty-one Palestinians, both combatants and civilians, have lost their lives in this year’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the same time frame, according to a tally by AFP based on official sources from both sides, there have been twelve civilian deaths in Israel, including three children and one police officer.