Israeli forces kill Palestinian gunmen who shot British-Israelis
NABLUS, West Bank, May 4 (Reuters) - Israeli forces on Thursday killed two Palestinian gunmen who shot dead a British-Israeli mother and her two daughters in April in the occupied West Bank, Israel's domestic security service said.
A third militant who had aided the two gunmen was also killed in the raid, Israel’s Shin Bet service said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said there had been three fatalities during the raid in the city of Nablus. Hundreds of people marched in their funeral procession through the streets of the city as gunmen fired into the air.
Palestinian militant group Hamas said the men killed were members of its armed wing and confirmed they had carried out the April 7 attack in which British-Israeli Lucy Dee, 48, and her daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, were killed, while travelling from their home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
In a separate incident nearby, at the flashpoint village of Huwara, a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli soldier and was then shot by him and a second soldier, the military said.
The woman, identified as Iman Odeh, 26, died of her injuries, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The incidents came after an exchange of cross-border strikes between Israel and Gaza earlier in the week and more than a year of violence that has seen repeated Israeli raids in the West Bank as well as a series of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.
The shooting attack on the Dee family, which British Foreign Minister James Cleverly described as “abhorrent”, shocked Israelis, who flocked to the Dees’ funerals last month.
In a radio interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan, Rabbi Leo Dee, the family’s father, thanked the Israeli security forces and said he was more consoled by meeting transplant patients this week who had received his wife’s organs.
“That was a great comfort,” Dee said.
In Nablus, witnesses said Israeli undercover units surrounded a house in the old city before a gun battle which left the structure badly damaged by explosions and bullet holes.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 100 Palestinians, most of them fighters in militant groups but some of them civilians including children, have been killed by Israeli forces and at least 18 Israelis and foreigners have been killed.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem threatened revenge for the killing of the gunmen who were barricaded in the house. “The occupation will pay the price for its crimes against our people and for the assassination today,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that those who harm Israelis are eventually reached. “It doesn’t matter where you try to hide – we will find you,” he said.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, blamed Israel for the escalation and called on the United States to intervene.
By Ali Sawafta
(Reporting by Maayan Lubell, Ali Sawafta, Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi; writing by Maayan Lubell; editing by Andrew Heavens, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Heinrich)