Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in clash in West Bank

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in clash in West Bank

Israeli forces killed a Hamas militant and another Palestinian on Monday during clashes near the occupied West Bank city of Jenin that sparked when the army went to demolish the homes of two slain gunmen, Palestinian sources said.

The deaths in the village of Kafr-Dan were the first Palestinians since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office last week at the head of a far-right coalition.

The Israeli army confirmed carrying out the raid to level the homes of two Palestinians who killed one of their commanders in the West Bank last year before being gunned down.

The troops fired on Palestinians in Kafr-Dan who attacked them with gunshots, stones and firebombs, the army said in a statement. There were no Israeli casualties in the incident.

Hamas, an Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip and has followers in the West Bank, claimed one of the 17-year-old Palestinians killed as its member.

In a statement, Hamas, which rejects coexistence with Israel, promised to “continue the resistance and confront the terrorism and fascism of the new occupation government.”

It was not immediately known if the second Palestinian killed, 21, had any factional affiliation.

In Kafr-Dan, Hani Abed, father of one of the gunmen killed in the clash on September 14, called the Israeli demolitions “collective punishment.”

“This will not break our resolve,” he told Reuters next to the rubble of his home.

Last year saw the worst levels of violence in the West Bank in more than a decade, much of it concentrated around Nablus and the nearby city of Jenin, with at least 150 Palestinians and more than 20 Israelis killed.

In Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh blamed Israel for any escalation that might result from “the daily acts of killing and raids.”

Melissa Galbraith
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