Hundreds at funeral of Palestinians killed in Israeli raid on West Bank town of Nablus

Military operation came days after 12 people were killed in Jenin refugee camp

Mourners at the funeral of Khairi Shaheen and Hamza Maqbool, killed by Israeli forces during a military raid in Nablus in the occupied West Bank. AFP
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Hundreds have attended the funeral of the two Palestinians killed during an Israeli raid in the town of Nablus, the latest deaths in a escalating violence in the occupied West Bank.

The two men were shot dead after Israeli forces cordoned off a house in the city's Old Town, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, named them as Khairi Shaheen, 34, and Hamza Maqbool, 32.

Two others were shot and wounded in “confrontations” with the army, Wafa reported, while the Palestinian Health Ministry put the number at three.

Another Palestinian was killed by Israeli security forces later on Friday during an anti-settlement protest in the village of Umm Safa, north of Ramallah, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

It said Abdel Saleh, 24, was critically wounded by gunfire and later died of his injuries.

Umm Safa has been a flashpoint between residents and Israeli settlers.

The Israeli army said soldiers used "riot dispersal means and live fire" during a "violent riot" in the village in which "rioters hurled rocks" at Israeli forces.

"A hit was identified," it said.

Deadly army operations have become a regular feature of daily life across the occupied West Bank over the past year, particularly in Nablus and Jenin, where 12 people were killed in a large-scale army operation on Monday.

The two-day raid left much of Jenin's refugee camp reduced to rubble.

The army said the men killed in Nablus were suspected of being the gunmen who attacked police officers at a West Bank Samaritan community this week.

They were shot dead after an “exchange of fire” with Israeli troops, the military said.

Hundreds attend funeral procession in West Bank

Hundreds attend funeral procession in West Bank

Despite international pleas for de-escalation, the Israeli government has vowed to continue its operations against militants it claims are responsible for committing or plotting attacks against Israelis.

Civilians have also been killed during the military operations, with Israeli forces sending Apache helicopters over densely populated refugee camps.

The latest raid comes a day after a Palestinian gunman was shot dead by Israeli troops after killing a soldier near the Kedumim settlement.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack.

Several Israelis were also wounded in a ramming and stabbing attack in Tel Aviv on Monday.

The man thought to be responsible for the incident, a Palestinian from the Hebron area, was killed by an armed passer-by.

The Israeli army's chief-of-staff, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, met military commanders and the municipal heads of West Bank settlements on Thursday to discuss the Jenin raid.

They also discussed attacks on settlements and “incidents of nationalist crime”, a reference to settler attacks on nearby Palestinian communities.

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Nablus raid

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Nablus raid

Lt Gen Halevi said co-ordination between the army and settlements must be “strengthened”.

Growing settler violence in the West Bank has affected Palestinian towns and villages across the occupied West Bank.

One person was killed and more than 30 wounded in attacks on Palestinian property in late June, after a gunman shot dead four Israelis near a settlement.

The violence has also revealed cracks within Israel, with government ministers rebuking officials, including members of the military who condemn the settler attacks.

Settlers once again attacked Palestinians and their vehicles throughout the occupied West Bank overnight on Thursday, Wafa reported.

The agency said a number of residents suffered smoke inhalation and that an ambulance carrying a seriously ill child was attacked.

Updated: July 08, 2023, 7:58 AM