The Islamic Jihad militant group issued a statement praising the "ambush" its fighters prepared for Israeli forces securing the pilgrimage, saying there was an exchange of fire between the two sides.

Tensions have been high in the West Bank for the past three months following a wave of attacks on Israelis that led to arrests and clashes.

Nineteen people, mostly civilians -- including 18 inside Israel and a Jewish West Bank settler -- have been killed in attacks in Israel by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs which began in late March.

Israeli security forces have responded with raids inside Israel and the West Bank, particularly in the flashpoint northern district of Jenin.

Three Israeli Arab attackers and a police commando have died.

Thirty-four Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank -- suspected militants but also non-combatants, including a journalist who was covering a raid in Jenin and bystanders.

Read more from Middle East
Post Comment