World News

Israeli forces wound 2 militants in W.Bank raid

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli forces raided a village in the northern West Bank on Wednesday and wounded two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, one seriously, a senior Palestinian security officer said.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement that the two men, leaders wanted by Israel for eight years, had fought gunbattles through the night with the Israeli forces. They had been wounded and detained, it said.

This is the first time in almost a year there has been a confrontation in the West Bank on this scale, the Palestinian security official said.

A large force of Israeli troops had mounted the overnight raid in a village near the northern West Bank town of Jenin, the Palestinian officer, responsible for security in the area, told Reuters.

The West Bank, home to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, has been largely stable for around two years. It was a main front in the armed Palestinian uprising against Israel earlier this decade.

The officer said it was the biggest raid mounted by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank since December, when Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian men they suspected of having shot dead an Israeli settler.

Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing Jon Hemming