RAMALLAH, West Bank – Israeli security forces shot and killed three Palestinians on Tuesday near the West Bank city of Hebron, officials said.
"Earlier this evening special ISA and Border Police forces operated in the areas of Hebron and Yatta in order to arrest a Salafist-jihadi terrorist group that was planning to execute a terror attack in the upcoming days," an Israeli military statement said.
"Two of the terrorists were killed during the operation," the statement said. "The operatives were carrying explosive devices and two hand guns."
Later reports said a third Palestinian was also killed.
The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted "a senior Israeli officer" as saying that a search for suspected militants had been underway for a week. The Israeli forces opened fire in the direction of a vehicle during a raid and an exchange of gunfire subsequently erupted, the officer said.
The three Palestinians who were killed were identified as Muhammad Nairoukh, Mahmoud Najjar and Mousa Fansheh, all from the Hebron area.