Two Israeli soldiers killed and three Palestinians injured in Nablus violence

More than 500 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7

Civil defence teams tackle a fire after an Israeli raid in Al Bireh area of Ramallah on May 30. There has been a surge in violence in Palestine since the outbreak of the Gaza war. Photo: Anadolu
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Two Israeli soldiers were killed after overnight raids near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, which injured three Palestinians.

The soldiers were killed in a ramming attack near an illegal Israeli settlement near Nablus, the army said on Thursday. The Palestinians were injured by shrapnel from gunfire in the Balata camp, east of the city, the Wafa news agency reported.

Hamas said the ramming attack was a “natural response” against the “crimes of the enemy”. Israel has launched a manhunt for those responsible.

There has been a surge in Israeli army raids in Nablus since Hamas led an attack in southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people. Israel's retaliation on Gaza has killed more than 36,100, the enclave’s health authorities said.

The war has led to the worst violence in Palestine for decades, including fighting between Palestinian armed groups and Israeli forces. There has also been a rise in attacks by Israeli settlers.

On Thursday, Wafa reported that settlers had burnt down farmers’ tents in Deir Dibwan, east of Ramallah.

Before the war in Gaza, Nablus recorded some of the largest Israeli army raids since the early 2000s, with one operation in February last year leaving eight dead and 100 injured.

But violence has increased sharply since October, amid calls from Israeli far-right politicians, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, to launch more aggressive operations.

Mr Smotrich recently warned that the West Bank could suffer the same fate as Gaza, while Mr Ben-Gvir has called for suspected terrorists to be shot “even if they do not endanger” police.

At least 519 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli troops or settlers since October 7, Palestinian officials said.

Attacks by Palestinians have killed at least 12 Israelis in the West Bank over the same period, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 8:12 AM