Israeli troops kill three Palestinians in predawn raid: hospital

RAMALLAH, West Bank Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:52am EDT

1 of 4. Relatives mourn the deaths of two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops, at a hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah August 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians and wounded about a dozen in an early morning raid on Monday to arrest a suspected militant in a refugee camp near Jerusalem, Palestinian medical sources told Reuters.

Witnesses said Israeli armored jeeps entered the Qalandiya camp at around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) and were met by stone-throwing local residents. The Israeli forces responded with gunfire and left the camp before daybreak.

An Israeli police spokesman said a clash erupted when border police carrying out an arrest raid were confronted by Palestinians who threw firebombs and rocks at them. The incident was being investigated, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

It was not clear if the Israeli forces made any arrests.

Israeli troops often enter Palestinian-controlled territory to detain individuals suspected of militant activity, usually conducting the raids during darkness to minimize confrontation.

Israel and the Palestinians resumed U.S.-brokered peace talks after a three-year breakdown last month, though neither side has expressed much optimism for a major breakthrough.

Violence in the West Bank has worsened since the beginning of 2013. With Monday's deaths, Israeli forces have killed 14 Palestinians there this year, most of them in clashes, compared with three killed in the same period in 2012, according to United Nations figures.

(Reporting By Ali Sawafta and Noah Browning in Ramallah and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)