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Israel: Five militants shot in raid

Police say Palestinian stabs two Jews in separate attack

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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli troops shot five people Wednesday night after raiding a house in the West Bank town of Tulkarem, where armed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants were thought to be hiding, the Israeli military said.

Three Palestinians may have been killed, witnesses said.

The militants targeted in the West Bank raid were suspected of involvement in a July 12 suicide bombing in Netanya that killed four Israelis, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF said soldiers went to the house Wednesday after receiving information that Islamic Jihad militants were staying there. The IDF said its troops were fired on by those inside and that they returned fire, hitting five people.

There was no immediate information on their condition of survivors, but witnesses told local media that two Palestinians, and possibly three, were killed.

Netanya, a coastal Israeli city north of Tel Aviv and a few miles from the West Bank, has been the target of a number of suicide bombings.

Sources within Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the July 12 blast at a pedestrian crossing, saying the bomber was from the West Bank village of Atil.

Israeli forces arrested five suspects the day after the explosion. (Full story)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Tulkarem, on the line between Israel and the West Bank, was turned over to Palestinian control earlier this year.

Knife attack

In separate violence Wednesday, two Jewish men were stabbed in Jerusalem's Old City, leaving one of them dead.

Police said a large kitchen knife was used in the attacks, which they said were thought to be politically motivated.

One of the stabbing victims was able to reach a police station to report the attacks, and he was recovering at a hospital, according to police. Ambulance services said both men were 25 years old.

Local media described the men as Jewish seminarians and said they were on their way back to the school from the Western Wall about 9:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. ET) when they were attacked near the Muslim marketplace.

Wednesday's violence came as Israel continued its disengagement operation, one day after its forces evicted the last settlers and protesters from the West Bank settlement of Homesh.

That completed Israel's withdrawal of civilians from 25 settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, part of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to restart the peace process with the Palestinians. (Full story)

Before pulling its forces from Gaza, Israel will destroy settlers' houses and its own security infrastructure.

CNN's Riad Ali, Shira Meddings and Guy Raz contributed to this report.

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