On Wednesday, Israel killed 3 Palestinian fighters north of Jenin in the first targeted drone assassination in the occupied West Bank since the end of the Second Intifada 18 years ago.
Those targeted in the strike were Adnan al-Ghoul who is the Al-Quds Brigades Commander of the Jenin Battalion Suhaib, Ashraf Murad al-Saadi of the Jenin Battalion, and Muhammad Bashar Owais who was the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leader, ZeroHedge reported.
Al-Quds Brigades is the military branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) based in Gaza. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is loosely tied to the Fatah political party which rules the West Bank.
According to the Israeli army and the Shin Bet intelligence agency, the 3 resistance fighters had conducted a shooting operation at the Jalameh Checkpoint, north of Jenin, earlier Wednesday evening.
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“We identified a vehicle shooting at the checkpoint and removed the threat,” said army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari Wednesday night while insisting that the assassination was “not a targeted killing.”
The strike was authorized by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as the assassination was an escalation in violence that has engulfed the West Bank.
“We will use all the means at our disposal, and we will exact the heaviest price from every terrorist or terrorist emissary,” Gallant said.
Wednesday’s drone strike is the second aerial strike in the occupied West Bank in under a week. After the attack, Hazem Qassem, the spokesman for the Palestinian group Hamas, said that the strike “would not go unpunished.”
“The Zionist enemy’s use of aircraft to assassinate our people is a dangerous escalation that confirms their efforts to ignite the situation after failing to resolve the battle through direct confrontation on the battlefield,” Qassen said.
“The assassination in Jenin will receive a response and will not go unpunished from our people and the resistance,” he concluded.
The drone attack was launched hours after Jewish settlers attacked the Ramallah village of Turmus Aya with the backing of the Israeli army, during which they set fire to homes, vehicles, and agricultural land. At least one Palestinian was killed during the rampage and several others were injured. Although the military “condemned” the incident, no arrests were made.
Wednesday’s attack on Turmus Aya came not even a full day after settlers invaded several areas of Nablus and torched approximately 140 vehicles and large areas of Palestinian farmland. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet recently approved the construction of another 4,560 settlement units in the occupied West Bank.
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