Palestinian shot dead in West Bank was Hamas fighter: party

Members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, at attention in the southern Gaza Strip on March 4, 2016 (AFP Photo/Said Khatib) (AFP/File)

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Hamas's military wing said Wednesday one of its members was involved in an attack in the occupied West Bank, in what was thought to be the first such acknowledgement since a wave of violence began in October.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in a statement, described Qassem Ouda Jaber, 31, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, as a member of one of the group's cells in the southern West Bank.

The Israeli army said three Palestinians had tried to kill Israelis in two separate attacks on Monday but all three were shot dead, while an army officer and three soldiers were wounded.

The Palestinian health ministry named the perpetrators as Jaber, Amir Juneidi and Yousef Taraya.

The Qassam statement said Jaber was a member of a brigade formed in 2004. It said he was arrested in 2006 and detained for 42 months for belonging to Hamas, before opening a fruit and vegetable shop.

Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, but also operates in the West Bank.

Army spokesman Peter Lerner, contacted by AFP, said the Hamas claim on Wednesday "doesn't come as such a huge surprise".

"We do see an attempt by Hamas to take advantage of the violence in the region. We have seen this in several attempts to establish new infrastructure" in the West Bank.

Since October 1, a wave of violence has killed 193 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians were killed while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

The majority of the attackers appear to have been acting alone, without coordination with any political party.