The Israeli military says it has arrested Palestinians suspected of involvement in the killing of an off-duty Israeli soldier in the West Bank this week.
The army said in a statement Saturday that members of the cell that killed Dvir Sorek, 18, outside a settlement near Hebron were arrested and the car they used in the attack was seized.
Israel’s Channel 13 TV reported that the suspects were two brothers from Hebron.
There was no immediate Palestinian comment.
The body of Sorek was found with stab wounds near his seminary, where he studied Talmud as part of a program combining military conscription with religious classes.
“The occupation is responsible for the state of anger and pressure inflicted on our people due to the continued siege on Gaza,” he said in a statement.
Earlier, Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Israel holds Gaza’s ruling Hamas authorities “responsible and accountable for any acts of violence emanating from the Gaza Strip,” regardless of whether Hamas ordered the attack.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Saturday that it was a “very significant attempt to attack Israel.”
Speaking at a briefing with reporters, he said Israeli soldiers opened fire when the militants tried to climb the fence, and that the militants returned fire before being killed. No Israelis soldiers were hurt.
Conricus said the four were dressed in military uniforms and carried rifles, grenades, wire cutters and rocket propelled grenades.
He added that while the “organization affiliation” of the four remained unclear, he said Gaza’s ruling Hamas authorities were “responsible and accountable for any acts of violence emanating from the Gaza Strip whether they were Hamas operatives or not Hamas operatives.”
The Israeli military says it killed an unspecified number of militants who had crossed the Gaza perimeter fence and threw a grenade at soldiers.
The army said the militants were killed Saturday morning and carried RPG launchers and assault rifles.
Local Palestinian media reported three to four people approached the fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
The militant group canceled this Friday’s protest because of the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
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