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Israeli forces exchange heavy fire in West Bank raid on Palestinian militants

Israeli forces targeted three members of the Lion’s Den terrorist group during a raid in the West Bank on Wednesday morning that left 11 Palestinians dead.

Israeli Defense Forces exchanged heavy fire with Palestinian militants during a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday morning that targeted three members of the Lion’s Den terrorist group

At least 11 Palestinians were killed in the raid, which was a joint operation between the IDF, Israel Border Police, and Israel Security Agency. 

Israeli forces descended on an apartment where three terrorists wanted for perviously attacking IDF soldiers were hiding out. 

They included 24-year-old Husam Assalim, a senior Lion's Den operative involved in the killing of IDF soldier Ido Baruch last October, as well as 24-year-old Muhammad' Aa Fatah and 24-year-old Wallid Dachil. All three were killed during a firefight. 

Israeli forces also exchanged gunfire during the raid with other Palestinian militants, who hurled rocks, explosive devices, and molotov cocktails at military vehicles, according to the IDF. 

"During this time there were heavy exchanges of fire inside the house, in the close proximity, and the outer perimeter, thereby thwarting terrorist activity," Israel Border Police Commander Amir Cohen said Wednesday. 

PALESTINIANS IN UPROAR AFTER ISRAELI ARMY KILL MILITANTS, ELDERLY WOMAN IN WEST BANK

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem accused Israeli forces of "escalating its aggression against the Palestinian people" and besieging citizens in Nablus. 

Following the raid, Palestinian militants launched rocket attacks on Israel, while Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza. 

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday that the U.S. is "extremely concerned by the levels of violence in Israel and the West Bank."

"We recognize the very real security concerns facing Israel. At the same time, we are deeply concerned by the large number of injuries and the loss of civilian lives," Price said. "We are deeply concerned that the impact of today's raid could set back efforts aimed at restoring calm for both Israelis and Palestinians."

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