Israeli security personnel shot dead at least three Palestinians, including two Palestinian Authority (PA) military intelligence officers, in a predawn raid in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian authorities said on Thursday.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the two officers as Adham Yasser Alawi, 23, and Tayseer Issa, 32, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported, adding the third victim was Jamil al-Amuri, who had been imprisoned in Israeli jails.
Another Palestinian officer, Muhammad al-Bazour, 23, was critically injured during the Israeli undercover mission and has been moved to an Israeli hospital, according to Wafa.
A online video appears to show Palestinian officers taking cover behind a vehicle as gunshots are heard in the background. One shouts that they are exchanging fire with Israeli “undercover” forces.
Israeli media reported that al-Amuri was a former prisoner and member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but this has yet to be confirmed from the Palestinian officials.
Thousands of mourners turned out on the streets in Jenin city to take part in the funeral procession of Alawi, as preparations for the burial of the two other men killed were also underway.
There have also been calls for a general strike across Palestinian towns.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned what he called a “dangerous Israeli escalation”, saying the three were killed by Israeli special forces who disguise themselves as Palestinians during arrest raids.
The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaina, called on the international community and the United States to intervene to halt such attacks.
Under interim peace agreements signed in the 1990s, the PA has limited autonomy in scattered enclaves that together make up approximately 40 percent of the occupied West Bank. Israel has overarching security authority in the West Bank and routinely carries out arrest raids in Palestinian cities and towns administered by the PA.
Under the 1993 Oslo agreements, the PA is obliged to share information with Israel about any armed resistance to the Israeli occupation in a practice known as “security coordination”, which was briefly suspended last year after Israeli plan to annex the occupied West Bank.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has criticised the PA for the so-called “security coordination”. Many Hamas members have been arrested due to PA’s cooperation with Israeli authorities.