Ramallah: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned an Israeli operation in the West Bank on Saturday that killed three alleged militants, calling it a "dangerous escalation."
The Western-backed leader accused Israel of deliberately undermining gains made over the past two years by Palestinian security forces, who have restored law and order in several former militant strongholds.
"This operation represents a dangerous escalation, and can only be seen in the context of targeting the security and stability that the Palestinian Authority has been able to bring about," Fayyad said.
Israeli forces had earlier stormed into the West Bank town of Nablus and shot dead three members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas`s Fatah movement who were accused of gunning down a Jewish settler in the West Bank on Thursday.
In a separate operation three Palestinians were killed by an Israeli air strike in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip near the border. The military said the three were approaching the security fence to carry out an attack.
Abbas`s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina slammed both operations. "The Israeli escalation in the West Bank and Gaza and the return to the policy of assassinations and random killings under false pretences reveals that the occupation government has decided to destroy the security and stability of the Palestinian people," he said in a statement.