Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:35 AM ET
JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen fought each other in the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, hours after gunmen shot and wounded two Israeli motorists near a Jewish settlement.
The spike in violence followed the army’s capture of six Palestinian militants in a West Bank prison raid on Tuesday. The captives included a faction leader accused of ordering the 2001 assassination of a far-right Israeli cabinet minister.
In Jenin, soldiers came under heavy fire from gunmen holed up in a house in the city during an operation to arrest them. The army declined to comment on whether there were Israeli casualties in the raid.
Palestinian residents said a fierce gun battle was under way at the house where a group of gunmen from the Islamic Jihad militant group were trading fire with troops surrounding the building.
Earlier on Thursday, Palestinian gunmen shot and wounded two Israeli motorists near a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank. The Israelis were taken to hospital with light to moderate wounds, the army said