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Two Palestinians killed, 40 wounded as Israel launches raid on West Bank

#Palestinians #killed #wounded #Israel #launches #raid #West #Bank

Two Palestinians, including a senior militant commander, were killed on Tuesday when Israeli forces raided a house in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the army said.

The latest violence came two days after a ceasefire ended deadly fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad fighters in the coastal enclave of Gaza.

In the old city of Nablus, an AFP correspondent reported that Palestinians exchanged gunfire with Israeli security forces.

At least 40 Palestinians were injured, four of them in serious condition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

“The terrorist Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was killed in the city of Nablus,” the Israeli army said in a statement, adding that “another terrorist who was staying at the house” also died.

Nabulsi was commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, one of the main West Bank militant groups operating under the ruling Fatah party.

Clashes with the Israeli army also erupted in other parts of Nablus as Palestinians hurled stones at the troops.

Heavy gunfire was heard as dozens of Israeli military vehicles disrupted traffic in one of the West Bank’s largest cities.

“A violent clash ensued with dozens of rioters throwing stones and explosives at emergency services, who responded by dispersing the crowd and firing guns. Multiple injuries have been confirmed,” the army said.

“All forces have left the city, there are no casualties for our forces,” he added.

Israeli security forces have been conducting operations in the West Bank on an almost daily basis for the past few months, focusing on militants from the Islamic Jihad group.

At least 57 Palestinians have been killed since late March, most of them in the West Bank.

They included suspected militants as well as non-combatants, including Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American dual citizen who covered an Israeli raid in Jenin.

Attacks on Israeli targets killed 19 people in the same period, most of them civilians killed in attacks inside Israel. Three Israeli Arab attackers were also killed.

– Deadly fighting in the Gaza Strip –

On Friday, Israel launched a so-called “preemptive” air and artillery bombardment of Islamic Jihad positions in the Gaza Strip, prompting militants in the coastal enclave to fire more than a thousand rockets in retaliation, the army said.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire reached on Sunday ended three days of intense fighting that killed 46 Palestinians, including 16 children, and wounded 360, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Israel insists that some of the children and other civilians included in the Palestinian casualties were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that fell short or misfired.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that the bombardment “dealed a devastating blow to the enemy” and that “the entire high-level Islamic Jihad military command in Gaza was successfully attacked.”

Islamic Jihad said 12 of its members were killed, including commanders Taysir al-Jabari and Khaled Mansour.

Mohammad al-Hindi, a senior member of the group, said the ceasefire agreement “contains Egypt’s commitment to work towards the release of two prisoners”.

They were named as Bassem al-Saadi, a senior figure in the group’s political wing who was arrested in the West Bank earlier last week, and Khalil Awawdeh, a militant also in Israeli custody.

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