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Three Palestinians, including two PA officers, killed by Israeli special forces in Jenin

Men killed after Israeli forces arrived outside Palestinian Authority military intelligence headquarters on arrest mission
People wait outside the Palestinian Military Intelligence building in Jenin on Thursday (AFP)

Three Palestinians were killed early on Thursday in Jenin by Israeli Yamam special forces who were on an arrest mission in the northern West Bank, sources on both sides said.

One of the Palestinians killed was suspected of having carried out a shooting attack against Israeli soldiers, according to an Israeli security official. 

The other two were members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces who witnessed the initial shooting outside the headquarters of the PA Military Intelligence Unit headquarters in Jenin.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the men were killed when the Israeli special forces, dressed in civilian clothing, attempted to detain wanted Palestinians outside the building.

A third member of the PA forces was critically injured in a gun battle with the Israeli agents, according to Wafa.

The Palestinian presidency condemned the Israeli operation, with spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh calling it a "violation of international law" that would bring a "dangerous escalation" in remarks carried by Wafa. 

An Israeli security official told AFP that the special forces were in Jenin seeking "to arrest two terrorists who had carried out a shooting attack".

"One Palestinian who opened fire on the forces was shot dead," he said. The Palestinian health ministry identified him as Jamil al-Amuri.

The wife of Tayseer Issa, one of the Palestinians killed in the shooting, told Middle East Eye that she was excited for their future together, and was shocked when he didn't return home.

"We were really happy together, we married around one year ago and we were very happy with the arrival of our daughter - and we were excited to raise her together," she said. 

"The night before he was killed, he was laughing and joking while we were out together. He was getting ready for work for the next day as he usually does, only this time he left and never came back," she added.

Issa's wife described him as a "loving young man" who loved his family and "served his country with his life".

"He never refused anyone their requests, and was very, very loving. He could never sleep at night knowing that he'd upset anyone," she said.

Officer transferred to hospital

According to the Israeli official, after the initial incident, Palestinians at the scene "opened fire on the Israeli forces," and in an ensuing exchange, "two additional Palestinians were killed". 

An Israeli source told Reuters: "It appears that the unit they (the Palestinian security force) fired on was undercover.

"Our forces fired back, apparently thinking that the shooting from the Palestinian security men was part of the clash with the wanted terrorists."

Palestinian security officials identified the two as members of the Palestinian Authority's military intelligence department, Adham Eleiwi, 23, and Tayseer Issa, 32.

An eyewitness at the scene told Middle East Eye that the Palestinian security forces officers called for the shooting to stop, however it carried on despite this.

"We were in the area, opposite the intelligence headquarters, in front of us was a car and behind us the Israeli special forces. Suddently we heard shooting as the Palestinian security forces crossed the street.

"I warned one of them not to move because of the shooting and he told the Israeli forces to stop shooting. The Palestinian officers stood behind something to protect themselves but were seriously wounded in the open fire," he said. 

No Israeli forces were wounded in the incident, the Israeli official said.

A second Israeli security official told AFP that Amuri was a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

Another Islamic Jihad member, Wissam Abu Zeid, was wounded in the same incident, the Israeli official said.

Wafa said a third member of the intelligence forces was critically injured in the shooting and was transferred to hospital for treatment.

Israeli forces frequently carry out arrest raids in the occupied West Bank. On 25 May, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian during one such raid near Ramallah.