Two Palestinian gunmen have been killed – weeks after they shot dead a British-Israeli woman and her two daughters.

Israel’s military said troops were sent to an apartment in the city of Nablus during the early hours of Thursday.

There was an exchange of gunfire before the two suspects, and a third man who had helped them, were killed.

Rabbi Leo Dee, the father and husband of the British-Israeli victims, said he was "tremendously comforted" by the news the attackers had been "eliminated".

He told Sky News: "Everybody in the Western world can effectively sleep safe in their beds tonight.

"Therefore the Israeli army has done a tremendous kindness to the world by taking out two people who could go and bomb New York, London, Paris, Tel Aviv and kill many more innocent civilians."

The gunmen were identified as Hassan Katnani and Maed Mitsri, members of the Hamas militant group.

The third man was named as Ibrahim Hura, a senior operative in the group.

Maia and Rina Dee, aged 20 and 15, died in the West Bank when their car was shot at and forced off the road on 7 April.

Their mother, Lucy Dee, 45, died in hospital from her wounds a few days later.

The attack happened near Hamra, about 30 miles north of Jerusalem, but the family lived in the settlement of Efrat – close to Bethlehem.

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Rabbi Dee added: "I and the kids were delighted to hear that the terrorists were apprehended and eliminated today, and most of all that it was done in a way that apparently did not endanger the lives of Israeli soldiers because that was one of the most important things from our family’s perspective.

"I have requested from the Shabak [Israel’s Security Agency] that since we cannot sit and interview live the terrorists… that we should have the opportunity perhaps to interview live on television members of the family of the terrorist – perhaps the parents, siblings or the parents or the siblings.

"So that is my message.

"The question we would like to ask them is: what was their purpose in this particular attack, what is their vision for a better world?"

Hundreds of people attended funerals for the three women, whose deaths reduced the Dee family from seven members to four.

Rabbi Dee has appeared in Israeli media a number of times since then, saying he bears no hatred towards the killers and calling for national unity.

Israel has been raiding West Bank villages, towns and cities for more than a year in what it says is a bid to dismantle militant networks and prevent future attacks.

But Palestinians see these as Israel further strengthening its 56-year occupation of lands they seek for a future independent state.

Some 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the raids began – Israel has said most of these have been militants, but stone-throwing youths and people not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.

During the same period, nearly 50 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

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