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Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in West Bank

JENIN, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES (AFP) – Israeli troops killed two Palestinians yesterday whom the army accused of shooting at soldiers during a raid in the occupied West Bank.

The deadly raid came as residents across Israel and the Palestinian territories braced for further violence, a day after Israeli air strikes killed 15 Gazans, including children and top militants.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the two men shot dead by troops in the West Bank town of Qabatiya as Ahmed Jamal Tawfiq Assaf, 19, and Rani Walid Ahmed Qatanat, 24.

The ministry added that a 17-year-old was in a “very critical” condition after the raid, near the northern city of Jenin.

The Israeli military said troops detained one person during the incursion, when troops were shot at from a vehicle. “The soldiers responded with live fire toward the two assailants and killed them,” the army said.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967 and its forces regularly operate in Palestinian cities.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that clashes erupted after soldiers “stormed the town and raided a number of citizens’ homes”. The latest deadly Israeli raid comes after Tuesday’s air strikes killed Tareq Ezzedine, a group leader in the West Bank who was based in Gaza.

Ezzedine was one of three top figures in the group targetted in the strikes on Gaza.

Along with group Ghannam and Khalil al-Bahtini, the strikes also killed four children, the territory’s Health Ministry said. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, whose movement rules Gaza, said “assassinating the leadership” would bring “greater resistance”.

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians who were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. PHOTO: AP
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