Israel: Netanyahu vows to keep up IDF attacks on "Palestinian terrorists"
A female Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinian demonstrators (unseen) during a protest in the Aida Palestinian refugee camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 22, 2014, after three Palestinians were killed in Jenin. (AFP)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed that the army would not stop using force against anyone plotting attacks against Israel, one day after IDF troops killed three Palestinians in a West Bank raid.
"Over the weekend, our forces struck at a terrorist who had organized attacks on Israelis and was also planning attacks on innocent civilians," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
"Our policy is to attack those who attack us and who are planning to attack us," Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying. "Both were applicable in this case."
On Saturday, Israeli troops raided the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank in what the army said was a planned operation to capture wanted Hamas militant Hamza Abu Hajia.
After Abu Hajia, aged 20, was shot and killed by IDF troops clashes broke out in the camp and two other young men died. According to AFP, they were Mahmoud Abu Zena, 19, of the radical Islamic Jihad group, and a civilian identified as Yazan Jabarin.
Palestinians across the West Bank flooded Jenin for the funeral, and called for a general strike in protest of the killings.
Three militant groups – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – on Sunday issued a rare joint statement in which they vowed to “painfully” retaliate for Saturday’s deaths. They also accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority of being complicit in the deaths due to their security deals with Israel, AFP reported.
Israel have defended Saturday’s operation. IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said that Abu Hajia was "a ticking bomb" who took part in shooting attacks and was in "advanced stages of the preparation of further attacks", according to AFP.
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