Israeli troops killed two senior Hamas militants in an early-morning raid on a house in the West Bank city of Hebron today.
One of the men killed was a militant behind a shooting in the Hebron area last month that killed four Jewish residents of a nearby Israeli settlement, according to a Hamas radio station.
Israeli soldiers surrounded the house before dawn, then opened fire with light and heavy weapons.
The gunfire left the walls pocked with bullet holes. One body was seen on the street outside.
In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a Hamas official confirmed that both of the men killed were senior members of the group’s armed wing.
The official blamed the Western-backed Palestinian government led by President Mahmoud Abbas, which wields limited power in the West Bank, for enabling the raid by co-operating with Israel.
Abbas and Israel both see Hamas as an enemy and have co-operated in cracking down on the group’s members in the West Bank.
Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement threatening to avenge the deaths.
The Israeli military confirmed that its troops carried out an operation in Hebron, but provided no further details.