A firefight started last week between firefighters and suspected terrorists in Israel’s northern West Bank has left three of the firefighters dead, according to the Israeli military.
The firefighters were responding to a call from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Palestinian refugee camp in the central West Bank when they encountered two masked men.
Two of the men fired at the firefighters, killing one of them, Israeli police said.
The second man, who was also killed, was later identified as a Palestinian from a village near Hebron.
Hebrew news agency Ynet reported that a fire extinguisher had been thrown at the Palestinian.
The firefight began on Monday after the Palestinians, who are known as Bedouin, attempted to cross into Israel, the Israeli-administered territories, after a year-long cease-fire broke down.
The two groups exchanged gunfire and then began to search for each other.
Israeli forces have launched an operation to search the area for the two suspects, which has taken more than two weeks.
The Palestinian Red Cross Society said it was calling for help to find the three firefighters, who were all wearing masks.
It called for their families to go to the scene of the shooting.
The cause of the firefight is unclear.
The Palestinians have been at odds with Israel for years over the Israeli settlement blocs that were built on their lands, which are considered illegal under international law.
In November, a firefight broke out in the northern West Banks when two Palestinian teenagers fired shots at Israeli police who responded.
The teens, who live in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, were later detained by Israeli forces.
The Israeli army said the teenagers were members of the Popular Resistance Committees, an organization that has been blamed for many violent attacks in the West Bank.