Israeli raid kills three Palestinian militants

STORY: Israeli security forces killed three Palestinian militants during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Monday (May 22), Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Residents of the Balata refugee camp in the city of Nablus said it was the largest such operation there in many years.

Israeli Army Radio said a relatively large number of soldiers took part in the pre-dawn raid.

The Israeli military said its forces came under fire from Palestinian gunmen and had, quote, "neutralized" at least two of them.

It said soldiers confiscated rifles, ammunition, and explosive devices and destroyed the site where the bombs were made.

Majeda Abu Shallal's home was badly damaged.

"We were sitting and we heard the sounds of gunshots. I took my daughters to a safe corner away from the windows as I always do in times of danger. I started to pray. The soldiers were in front of our house then suddenly they left. Ten minutes later most of the house was blown up. We were inside but they didn't ask us to leave, they said nothing to us. They didn't notify us."

The Israeli army released this video said to show the raid.

It didn't immediately say whether Abu Shallal's house was the explosives lab it said it had destroyed.

One of the home's inhabitants is a militant, residents said.

Relatives gather by the bodies of three men killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

Sources in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party said two of them belonged to its Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades armed group.

It was unclear whether the third militant was taking part in the fighting.

Balata is the largest refugee camp in the West Bank. Israel has mounted frequent raids in and around Nablus over the past year, amid a deadly spate of Palestinian street attacks against Israelis.

Abbas' spokesperson called those raids a "war crime" and collective punishment.