(Bloomberg) -- Four Hamas gunmen were killed overnight in clashes that erupted during Israeli raids in five West Bank towns, Israel’s army spokesman said. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the deaths. 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a text message to journalists that the militants had been “poised to carry out terror attacks.”  Hamas said the deaths were the result of the Palestinian Authority’s engagement with Israel on security.

The violence comes after Israel recaptured escaped Palestinian prisoners affiliated with Islamic Jihad and a militant faction of Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority government. 

Israel fought its fourth war earlier this year with Gaza-based Hamas militants. The fighting followed weeks of tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank and spilled over into deadly violence inside Israel between Arab and Jewish citizens, the fiercest communal fighting in decades. 

What’s Behind Surging Israeli-Palestinian Violence: QuickTake

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