Palestinian kills two Israeli settlers near Nablus
Two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, according to Israeli officials.
Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, two brothers from Har Bracha, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank, were fatally shot in their car while driving through the Palestinian town of Hawara.
The assailant rammed the vehicle, before shooting at the two and fleeing the scene, sources told Haaretz. Israel's military said it was pursuing the perpetrator.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.
Later that evening, locals reported that Israeli settlers had entered Hawara, burning Palestinian houses, cars and shops.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a joint statement following the shooting, announcing that the Knesset had passed legislation approving the death penalty for those convicted of terrorism offences against Israelis.
"On this difficult day when two Israeli citizens were murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack, there is nothing more symbolic than passing a death penalty law for terrorists," the statement read.
Israeli settlers attacked neighbourhoods and properties in Palestinian villages near the scene of the attack, according to the Wafa news agency. Israeli soldiers also set up checkpoints near Nablus, it added.
It comes on the same day that Israeli and Palestinian leadership began talks in Jordan, following a deadly escalation in violence in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians, including a child and three elderly people, and wounded 100 others on Wednesday during a military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
More than 60 Israeli military vehicles stormed Nablus after an undercover force was spotted in the historic Old City, eyewitnesses told Middle East Eye.
"It was very scary... We could hear the sounds of explosions and people screaming in the street, and many of us started crying and praying to God to protect the city and its residents," Nablus resident Nabeela Suliman told MEE.
The raid, which lasted for four hours, focused on a building in the city that reportedly housed Palestinian resistance fighters.
"The Hawara operation is a natural response to the occupation's crimes, the latest of which was the Nablus massacre," a spokesperson for Hamas said on Sunday.
"The resistance in the West Bank will remain present and escalate, and no plan or summit will be able to stop it."
At least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis this year, at a rate of more than one fatality per day.
This follows a steep increase in violence in 2022 when at least 167 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in those territories in a single year since the Second Intifada.
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