Three Palestinians martyred by Israeli forces in West Bank

Three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the Palestinian health ministry said, with an Israeli official saying they had opened fire first.

The Palestinian ministry announced the "martyrdom" of three men shot by Israeli forces in Jaba, near the flashpoint northern city of Jenin.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir praised the undercover officers for "taking out the despicable terrorists, who opened fire at our fighters".

The health ministry identified the dead men as Sufyan Fakhoury, 26, Ahmed Fashafsha, 22, and Nayef Malaysha, 25. It did not provide further details.

Israeli police said special forces accompanied by soldiers had been in Jaba to arrest suspects involved in shooting attacks against soldiers in the area, including Fakhoury and Fashafsha. It said the pair were operatives of militant group Islamic Jihad.

Also read: Israeli forces kill six in raid on West Bank refugee camp

"During the operation, shots were fired at the border police undercover officers from the wanted men's car. Border police undercover officers responded with fire, and killed the three armed men in the car," police said, adding that Malaysha was also a suspected militant.

"A number of guns and explosive devices were found in the vehicle," the police statement said.

In a statement, Islamic Jihad condemned Israel for the "heinous assassination" in Jaba.

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