Israeli Troops Kill Six Palestinians in West Bank Raids

Israeli troops raided a village in the West Bank on Sunday, killing five Palestinians, including a militant Israel blamed for several suicide bombings that have killed dozens of Israelis, officials said.

In a separate raid in a nearby West Bank town, troops killed a Palestinian intelligence officer.

The raid in the village of Qabatiyeh was the bloodiest in the West Bank since Israeli forces raided the Balata refugee camp on Feb. 23, killing five.

At the start of the raid, Israeli troops killed 24-year-old Said Hanisheh — an Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militant wanted by Israeli security forces, and his 25-year-old brother, Mujahed, who was not known to be a militant, Palestinian officials said.

Later, bulldozers were brought in to demolish a house where militants were still believed to be hiding, witnesses said. They said two bodies were removed from the house.

Countrywatch: Israel

Among the dead was Elias Ashkar. The Israeli army said he was behind several suicide bombings in which about 50 Israelis were killed, but Islamic Jihad said he was not among its leaders.

Also killed in Qabatiyeh was a 19-year-old who was throwing rocks at the troops, witnesses and doctors said. The army confirmed that troops fired on Palestinians who were throwing objects at them.

The army said all those killed in the house or nearby buildings were militants who had fired at troops.

Earlier, in the nearby town of Jenin, Israeli soldiers surrounded a building next to Palestinian intelligence headquarters. Gunshots were heard, and the bloodstained body of Ali Jabarin, a former member of the violent Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, was seen lying in the street immediately afterward.

In the Qabatiyeh raid, an AP Television News photographer was hit in the back by an Israeli rubber bullet. The injury did not appear to be serious and the circumstances of the shooting were not immediately known.