[Israeli soldiers operating in Hebron: Image Palestine News Network]
By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies: Palestinian medical sources have reported that three Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, on Tuesday evening, east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The Red Crescent Society in Hebron said that the three have been identified as Mahmoud Khaled Najjar and Mohammad Mousa Fansha, both from Yatta, and Mohammad Fuad Nairoukh from Hebron.
The army initially prevented the medics from reaching the bodies of the slain Palestinians, and only informed them of their identities. The ambulance was only allowed through late on Tuesday at night.
Furthermore, medical sources in Hebron denied reports claiming that the army killed a fourth Palestinian in the attack.
The Israeli military alleges that it killed three members of a “Salafist Jihadist group on its way to open fire at Israeli targets”, and that the soldiers located two pistols and explosive charges in their car.
The army also kidnapped several Palestinians in the area before killing the three Palestinians, and declared it a closed military zone.
Meanwhile, Israel’s TV Channel 10 said that the operation in Hebron is not over yet, as the army is still searching for more “wanted Palestinians” believed to be hiding in Yatta or nearby.
An Israeli military commander said that the soldiers fired live rounds at the wheels of a car transporting gunmen, an issue that led to exchanges of fire leading to the death of three Palestinians.
He claimed that the “cell planned to abduct an Israeli soldier”, in addition to “planning other attacks against Israeli targets in the Hebron area.”
His claims are similar to statements recently from Yatta, by the Israeli Shin Bet (Internal Security Agency) that announced arresting two Palestinians of the same group in Hebron and Nablus, and that all investigations led to the conclusion that the group intends to attack Israeli targets, in addition to planning attacks against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
The Shin Bet claimed that the group even prepared apartments for its members to hide, and purchased weapons and supplies, in addition to manufacturing explosive materials in the last few months.