Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in occupied West Bank confrontation

Israeli troops have killed two Palestinians during a confrontation with gunmen in the occupied West Bank, according to the military and medical officials.

Israel’s military said on Thursday that a gunfight had erupted after soldiers identified a “suspicious vehicle”, from where the two men shot at the settler, near Shufa village, in the Tulkarem area.“Soldiers engaged and after exchanges of fire, the two terrorists were neutralised,” the military said.

This is not the first raid carried out by Israelis in Tulkarem.

Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah, said that usually when the Israeli forces raid the Palestinian city in the West Bank, Palestinians tend to retaliate by shooting towards illegal Israeli settlements.

However, this time, the Palestinians who were killed “are believed to have shot at an Israeli settler on a motorcycle, according to witnesses”, she said.

Ibrahim added that Israeli forces prevented medical aid from reaching the scene this morning and then “took” the bodies as “a part of an Israeli policy to withhold the bodies of Palestinians believed to have committed attacks against Israelis and Israeli soldiers”.

Local news site WAFA identified the two young men as Abd al-Rahman Atta and Hudhayfah Fares.

Failed peacemaking
The West Bank, which is illegally occupied by Israel, has seen a surge of violence in recent months amid an almost 10-year-old impasse in United States-sponsored peacemaking efforts.Israel has stepped up military raids, primarily in the north of the occupied West Bank, for more than 18 months in what it says is a campaign to root out Palestinian resistance fighters and thwart future attacks.The Israeli army has been militarily occupying the West Bank, where some three million Palestinians live, for 56 years, an occupation viewed as illegal by the United Nations and the majority of countries.

In July, Israel launched one of its biggest attacks on the occupied West Bank, killing at least 12 Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp and wounding about 100 others.

The United Nations has said 2023 has been the the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the health ministry. At least 35 Israelis were also killed in Palestinian attacks during the same period.

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