Al-Aqsa brigades leader killed in the North Bank

An al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades leader was one of three wanted Palestinian militants killed in raids carried out by Israeli troops in the north of the West Bank on Thursday morning.

Samar Sa'adi, head of the Brigades in Jenin, was killed in a gunfight with the troops trying to arrest him, the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz cites the Israeli army as saying.

Palestinian residents said the soldiers positioned themselves in different parts of the city before carrying out the raids on numerous homes.

Raids were also conducted in the West Bank towns of Bethlehem, Nablus and Ramallah, where 12 militants from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups were arrested. The other two dead militants were killed in clashes in the village of Burqin. They have been identified as 32-year-old Nidal Khlouf and 24-year-old Samar Shalaby. Both are said to have been members of the Islamic Jihad.

Israel has been targeting militant leaders following a weekend of violence, in which up to 40 rockets were fired at Israel. Hundreds of Palestinian militants have also been arrested over the last few days, AKI reports.

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