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HEBRON, West Bank – Relatives say three suspected Palestinian militants killed by Israeli troops previously had evaded arrest by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.
Thousands on Wednesday attended the funerals of the men who were killed in an army raid Tuesday.
Israel's military says the three were jihadi Salafis, or followers of a violent stream of Islam. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner of the Israeli military says the three had planned attacks on Israelis and on the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian self-rule government in the West Bank.
Lerner says Tuesday's raid uncovered the first substantial sign of violent activity by jihadi Salafis in the West Bank. Jihadi Salafis are on the rise in the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas. Jihadi Salafis oppose Hamas as too pragmatic.