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Palestinians killed in West Bank in recent raid

GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP (AP) – Israel and Palestinian militants unleashed salvos of fire for a fourth day yesterday with the extremist militant group launching over a thousand rockets and the Israeli military pounding targets inside the Gaza Strip.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza or Israel yesterday.

But in a reminder of the combustible situation in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military raided the Balata refugee camp in the northern city of Nablus, killing two Palestinians.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the two as 32 year old Said Mesha and 19 year old Adnan Araj. At least three other Palestinians were wounded in the raid, the latest of near daily Israeli arrest operations against suspected militants in the territory.

Meanwhile, hopes for an imminent cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians were fading as the Israeli military early yesterday bombed an apartment belonging to extremist militant commander Mohammed Abu Al Atta, among other buildings in densely populated neighbourhoods.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house after it was struck by an Israeli airstrike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip. PHOTO: AP

The militants fired a barrage of rockets toward southern Israel, where millions of Israelis were instructed to remain close to safe rooms and bomb shelters.

The deadly Israeli raid into the Balata refugee camp turned the focus of the conflict back to the long-simmering West Bank.

Residents said that Israeli forces used shoulder-fired rockets to besiege a militant hideout, sharing footage of a large explosion and smoke billowing from the crowded camp. The two Palestinians killed were not the target of the arrest raid, witnesses said, but among the crowds of protesters throwing stones and explosives at Israeli troops.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

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