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Two Israelis killed in West Bank shooting attack

Deadly incident took place near the Palestinian town of Huwwara, the scene of recent rampage by Israeli settlers
Israeli security forces inspect a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance at a checkpoint following an attack near the West Bank town of Huwwara on 19 August 2023 (AFP)

Two Israeli men were shot and killed by suspected Palestinian gunmen in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the army said.

The shooting took place near the northern town of Huwwara, the scene of several rampages by Israeli Jewish settlers in recent months.

Israeli emergency services said a man in his 30s and a man in his 60s were hit by two attackers at a car-wash. The identities of the assailants are not yet known. According to preliminary reports cited by Israeli media, the attack was "criminally motivated".

Israeli military said it had closed several roads in the area and a manhunt was underway.

Huwwara, which Israelis drive through to reach illegal settlements, has become a flashpoint this year following previous deadly attacks on Israelis and violent raids by Israeli settlers "seeking revenge".

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In February, one Palestinian was killed and nearly 400 wounded in a settler rampage on Huwwara and other West Bank towns and villages, Palestinian health officials said.

Settlers had burnt down at least 35 homes, partially damaged 40 others, and many buildings were set on fire while their Palestinian inhabitants sheltered inside.

More than 100 cars were also burnt or otherwise destroyed.

Over the past two years, the West Bank has experienced a spike in violence as a result of increased Israeli raids and settler attacks.

This week alone, two Palestinians died of wounds previously sustained during raids by Israeli forces.

According to a tally by Middle East Eye, at least 215 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, including 37 children, a rate of nearly one fatality per day.

A total of 179 people have died in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since January, making 2023 one of the bloodiest years in occupied Palestine. Another 36 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis in the same period, including six children.

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