At least five Palestinians were killed by IDF troops after armed clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces early Sunday morning during a wave of arrest operations across the West Bank.
The wave of arrests in five different locations targeted a Hamas cell that Israeli security forces had been tracking for several days, according to the Israeli military.
At least three gunmen, all members of terror groups, were killed during the armed clashes with IDF soldiers in the village of Biddo near Ramallah, according to Palestinian media reports.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that Israeli security forces in the West Bank operated against Hamas operatives "that were about to execute terror attacks in the very immediate future."
He said that the soldiers in the filed "acted as expected of them" and said his government gave them full support.
Palestinians also reportedly opened fire on IDF soldiers in Burqin, west of Ramallah, where Israeli security forces were surrounding a house during the arrest operations.
Several Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the clashes.
Arrests were also reported in the town of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, and in Hebron.
Clashes and two injuries were reported in Beit 'Anan, a Palestinian village north of Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the arrest raids were against a Hamas cell planning to carry out terror attacks imminently.
"Security forces acted tonight in Judea and Samaria against Hamas terrorists who were poised to carry out terror attacks in the immediate future," Bennett said in a statement, en route to New York to speak at the United Nations General Assembly.
An IDF spokesperson said that the arrest raids were conducted primarily by the military's elite Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit and by the Israel Police and Border Police counter-terrorism units, along with the Shin Bet security service.
Earlier on Saturday night, Palestinians reportedly fired at the Jamalah checkpoint near Jenin to protest arrests taking place in the city. Israel recently reopened the Jamalah crossing after the recapture of six Palestinians who escaped from nearby Gilboa prison earlier this month.
On Friday, Mohammad Ali Khabisa, 28, was killed during clashes with IDF soldiers near Beita, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
Republished with permission by i24NEWS. AP contributed to this report