An armed Palestinian group has threatened to respond to the killing
of three of its members in an Israeli military raid on a home in the
occupied West Bank city of Nablus, reports Al Jazeera.
According to the Al Jazeera report,
Abu Mahmoud, a leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group
with ties to Fatah, said the group would respond with "blood and
fire" and pledged to send "martyrdom" bombers into Israel.
Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian
president and leader of Fatah, called for self-restraint following
the deaths in Nablus and another shooting in the Gaza Strip that
also left three Palestinians dead.
Salam Fayyad, the prime minister in the Palestinian caretaker
government, cautioned against creating chaos and violence.
The Israeli military has said that the three men shot dead in Nablus were behind
the killing of an Israeli settler on a West Bank road on Thursday.
It said a ballistic analysis showed that weapons found in the house
of Anan Tzubach, one of the dead, were used to murder Meir Avshalom
Hai, the settler.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was one of
two groups to claim responsibility for the shooting.
Family members of the three men said the troops entered
without warning and killed all three in cold blood, insisting none
had resisted arrest.
The Israeli military confirmed that none of them fired any shots at
its soldiers and said only one of them was armed.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, praised the commando
operation, telling the cabinet that Israel would "continue to
defend aggressively and respond to every attack against Israeli
citizens and every rocket strike."
The US has reportedly questioned Israel over the raid.
An official quoted by the
Haaretz newspaper said Washington
had contacted Uzi Arad, a senior aide to Netanyahu, over the
"We expressed our concern and encouraged both sides to continue
their security co-operation," he was quoted as saying.
"We talked to both sides in order to get full information about what
A state of mourning has been announced in Nablus, with shops closed
across the city. Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of
Netanyahu told cabinet ministers on Sunday that one of
the assassinated had been freed from an Israeli prison, highlighting
the risks of the prisoner swap deal Israel is negotiating in a bid
to free Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.
"We want to free captives, but at the same time, we want to minimise
the risk to our civilians," Netanyahu said according to a
participant in the meeting.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the three Palestinians killed
in the Gaza Strip were suspected of trying to infiltrate from Gaza.
However, a Hamas security source said the three were civilians
collecting scrap metal in an industrial zone near the Israeli
Palestinian officials accused the Israeli government of attempting
to escalate the situation in the Palestinian territories.
"The Israelis have committed a crime that proves they do not want
and do not even think about peace with the Palestinians," Nabil Abu
Rudaina, a spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, said.
"By committing this, Israel seeks to abort the US and international
effort to resume negotiations."