The Israeli Army said that troops killed five Palestinian fighters barricaded in a building during a 12-hour siege in the occupied West Bank on Saturday.

An AFP photographer saw a heavy military deployment in the village of Deir al-Ghusun, near the northern town of Tulkarem.

Troops deployed a bulldozer to flatten a building and carried at least one body out of the rubble, the photographer reported.

Israeli forces “engaged in an extensive 12-hour counterterrorism operation in the Tulkarem area,” the Army and the Shin Bet security service said in a joint statement.

They said that troops had come under fire after entering the village to “neutralise a terrorist cell” and had “retaliated” with “live ammunition, shoulder-fired missiles and other weaponry.”

An Army drone registered two hits on the building before sappers moved in to “dismantle” it.

“The confrontation ended with the elimination of five terrorists, and the seizure of military gear and weapon components,” the joint statement said.

A member of a counterterrorism unit of Israel’s border police was wounded in the operation, it added.

The already restive West Bank has seen a surge in violence since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7. At least 496 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli troops or settlers, according to an AFP tally.

With AFP