RAMALLAH, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (AFP) – Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank yesterday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as the army claimed to have targetted the perpetrators of a “shooting attack”.
“Two martyrs, shot by the occupation (Israeli forces) arrived at Thabet Thabet government hospital,” in the city of Tulkarm, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The Israeli army said the two men were “involved in the shooting attack in Avnei Heftz on May 2 during which an Israeli civilian was injured”.
“The two gunmen were shot and killed after attempting to flee the scene,” an army statement said, adding that two others were arrested in the operation. “Two M-16 rifles, military vests and magazines” were confiscated during the raid, the army said.
Avnei Heftz is a settlement in the West Bank deemed illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.
The Tulkarm Brigade, a local group linked to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the armed wing of the ruling Fatah party, claimed the two men as members, naming them as Hamza Khrewish and Samer al-Shafei.
The latest violence brings to 108 the number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so far this year. These figures include combatants as well as civilians.