Israeli forces kill two in West Bank

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Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians early Friday in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, but the military said it “eliminated” two militants including a Hamas member.

One man was killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire on his vehicle in the city of Tubas, WAFA reported.

Another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli gunfire when troops raided Al-Fara refugee camp near Tubas, the agency said.

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Israel’s military, contacted by AFP, said its forces had killed Mohammad Omar Draghmeh, and described him as “a central figure” in planning Hamas attacks.

“During the counter-terrorism activity, the terrorist shot at security forces who responded with fire and eliminated him,” the military said, adding that troops found weapons in his vehicle.

Soldiers in the Tubas area also came under attack and returned fire, the army said. One militant was killed and two wanted suspects were arrested.

The area around Tubas in the northern West Bank is a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups and the frequent target of Israeli military incursions.

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, has seen a surge in violence since early last year, particularly since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in Gaza on October 7.

At least 461 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers across the West Bank since October 7, according to official Palestinian sources.

The war in the Gaza Strip erupted after Hamas’s unprecedented attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

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Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,634 Palestinians, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

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