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Hamas, Islamic Jihad hail West Bank's resistance operation

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of a military parade attended by the Gaza Strip's resistance fighters (Photo by Reuters)

Resistance movements in the Gaza Strip have hailed an earlier successful operation by their fellow resistance fighters in the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank that led to the death of an illegal Israeli settler.

The drive-by shooting took place at the entrance to the Hermesh settlement in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm on Tuesday, wounding the settler, who later died of his injuries. The Tulkarm Brigades -- an offshoot of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a resistance group linked to the Palestinian Fatah party -- claimed responsibility for the shooting.

Later in the day, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem called the operation "heroic," saying it had proven the resistance's capability in catching the Israeli military off guard.

"The resistance is ceaselessly expanding and growing stronger in the West Bank amid the Zionists' complete failure in stopping it and breaking it down," he said.

'Natural, legitimate response'

The Islamic Jihad, Hamas's fellow Gaza-based resistance group, in a statement also lauded the operation as "courageous" and a "natural and legitimate response to the Israeli regime's escalated atrocities against the Palestinian nation."

The operation carries the "strong message" for the regime that "its incessant atrocities do not go unpunished."

"The Israeli enemy should know that there will be no security for its military personnel and settlers as long as it persists in its aggression against our territories and sanctities," the statement said. 

Following the operation, Israeli forces raided the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, prompting a heavy standoff with resistance fighters. An Israeli trooper was reportedly wounded during the conflict.

Witnesses said Israeli helicopter gunships kept loitering in the sky above throughout the raid.

During the swoop, the regime's forces blew up the house of a Palestinian before preventing Palestinian rescue workers from accessing the area of the explosion. Palestinian resistance fighters responded by bombing an Israeli military vehicle.

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