Suspected Palestinian shooting kills two Israelis in West Bank town of Hawara

The attack is the latest episode in an escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinians this year

Israeli soldiers check a Palestinian car at the Hawara checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Saturday after two Israelis were shot dead in the town. AP Photo
Powered by automated translation

Two Israelis were killed in a suspected Palestinian gun attack in the West Bank town of Hawara on Saturday, the Israeli military said.

The military said it was searching for suspects and setting up roadblocks near the town, which was attacked by Jewish settlers following the shooting of two Israelis at a nearby settlement earlier this year.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service said paramedics found two Israeli men, aged 60 and 29, unconscious with gunshot wounds at a car wash in Hawara.

Palestinian militant groups praised the attack, with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine posting statements online congratulating the perpetrators. None of the groups claimed responsibility.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Al Qanou said the attack was the "result of the resistance's continuous promise to defend our people and respond to the crimes of the occupation".

The occupied West Bank has seen some of the deadliest fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two decades this year.

The Hawara attack came on the same day as the reported death of a Palestinian teenager shot by Israeli troops during a raid in the northern West Bank on Wednesday.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Mohammad Abu Asab had been in critical condition after being shot in the head during a raid on the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, citing medical sources.

The Israeli military said a commando unit raided Balata to destroy an underground weapons factory.

While demolishing the site and its stockpile of improvised explosives, a gunfight broke out between soldiers and armed Palestinians in the camp's warren of alleys, the military said.

Also on Wednesday, five Israelis were wounded near a checkpoint close to the city of Jenin, which has also seen significant violence over the past year.

Updated: August 20, 2023, 3:45 AM