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Israel says killers of British-Israeli mother and daughters shot dead in Nablus

<i>Zain Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Israeli forces killed the suspected gunmen who shot dead a British-Israeli mother and two of her daughters last month
AFP via Getty Images
Zain Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli forces killed the suspected gunmen who shot dead a British-Israeli mother and two of her daughters last month

By Abeer Salman and Elliott Gotkine, CNN

Israeli forces killed the suspected gunmen who shot dead a British-Israeli mother and two of her daughters last month, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Richard Hecht told CNN Thursday.

They were among at least three Palestinian men killed in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, authorities said.

Palestinian militant group Hamas named the operatives and confirmed they were the killers of the British-Israeli settlers Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee.

Lucy Dee, 48, was killed alongside Rina, 15, and Maia, 20, when a car they were traveling in was shot at in the Jordan Valley in April. The sisters were killed in the shooting while their mother succumbed to her wounds in hospital several days later.

They had been on a “family outing” during the Passover holiday, according to a statement issued by the council of Efrat, the Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank where they lived.

The Al Qassam Brigade, the militant wing of Hamas, said the men killed Thursday were Hassan Qatanani, Muath al-Masri, and Ibrahim Jaber.

The brigade called them “heroes of the Jordan Valley operation that was carried out about a month ago, in which three settlers were killed, in response to the occupation’s crimes against Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the assault on Muslim women.”

The Dee family’s deaths came at a time of heightened tensions and increased violence in the region, following Israeli police raids on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Dozens of rockets were launched from Lebanon, Gaza and Syria into Israeli territory, followed by Israeli retaliatory strikes.

The Israel Defense Forces Thursday morning released the same names for the men killed in Nablus.

They were located following “an extensive ISA (Israel Security Agency) and IDF intelligence and operational effort,” the security forces said.

“During an exchange of fire, both of the terrorists were killed. In addition, Ibrahim Jaber, a senior operative who aided the two terrorists, was killed,” the military statement said. It also said two M-16 rifles and an AK-47 were found in the apartment where the men were discovered.

At the time the Dees were killed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the killings as a “heinous attack” by “terrorists” and instructed Israeli police “to mobilize all border police units in reserve and the IDF to mobilize additional forces,” according to his office.

Thousands of mourners attended their funerals.

A statement from the Dee family on Thursday said they were “delighted to hear that the terrorists were eliminated today.”

“Most of all, that it was done in a way that apparently did not endanger the lives of Israeli soldiers, because that was one of the most important things from our family’s perspective,” the statement said.

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said, “Israel’s defense establishment will reach any terrorist that harms our citizens.”

“I commend our security forces for neutralizing the terrorists who conducted the terror attack in Hamra, which took the lives of Lucy Dee, and her daughters Rina and Maya,” he said.

Palestinian woman shot dead in Huwara

In a separate development on Thursday, a Palestinian woman was shot and killed after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the flashpoint town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank, officials said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health named her Iman Ziad Ahmad Odeh, 26.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said she was shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers and transferred in a critical condition to Nablus Hospital, where she died.

The victim of the stabbing was 20, the Israel Defense Forces said Thursday. He was mildly injured and taken to hospital.

“The soldier was lightly injured, pushed away the assailant and neutralized her along with an additional soldier in the area,” the IDF said

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CNN’s Amir Tal contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Europe/Mideast/Africa

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