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Israeli forces shoot and kill three Palestinians in Nablus in targeted operation

An eyewitness tells MEE more than 80 bullets were fired at the three men during the shooting slammed as a 'field execution' by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Palestinian man inspects a bullet-riddled car belonging to three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus (AFP)
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Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

Israeli forces on Tuesday shot and killed three Palestinians in Nablus city in the occupied West Bank during a targeted operation, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said, calling it an "assassination".

The three men were identified as Adham Mabrouka, Ashraf Mubaslat and Mohammed al-Dakhil, all members of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

They were shot while driving in a vehicle with a fourth person who was detained, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Israel's security service said it conducted a joint operation targeting Palestinian fighters who carried out shooting attacks against Israeli targets in recent weeks. 

A video from the location of the incident in the Makhfiya neighbourhood in Nablus showed a car pierced with dozens of bullet holes, which was reportedly the vehicle used by the four men when they were killed. 

Batoul Koussa, an eyewitness who lives in the area, told Middle East Eye that two private vehicles, a dark blue Caddy and a yellow minibus with Palestinian plates, drove towards the al-Makhfiya junction before Israeli soldiers got out and opened fire in broad daylight. 
 
The soldiers surrounded the vehicle carrying the Palestinian men, and started shooting intensely at it from all directions and from point-blank range. Koussa said more than 80 bullets were fired at the vehicle.

Israeli soldiers withdrew after they confirmed the death of the three young men who were inside the vehicle. 

Their bodies were taken to Rafidia hospital where they were confirmed dead, as hundreds of people gathered to show solidarity with the family.  

'Field execution'

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the "field execution" and slammed Israel for the "heinous brutality".

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"This crime is part of a series of criminal field executions carried out by the occupation forces in accordance with the instructions and directives of the political and military level," it said in a statement. 

The governor of Nablus, Ibrahim Ramadan, announced a day of mourning and a city-wide strike tomorrow. 

Several Palestinian factions condemned the attack, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military wing to which the three men belonged, said in a statement it will meet “blood with blood”.  

The killings come amid increasing settler violence across the West Bank in recent months, particularly near Nablus.