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Palestinian brothers killed in 'deliberate' settler attack

Mohammad and Muhannad Yousef Muteir were fixing a tyre when Israeli settler rammed his car into them, according to reports
Mohammad and Muhannad Yousef Muteir were run over in what local sources called a deliberate attack (Social Media)

Two Palestinian brothers were killed after an Israeli settler rammed into them in the occupied West Bank, according to multiple Palestinian sources. 

The brothers, Mohammad and Muhannad Yousef Muteir, from the Qalandia refugee camp in Jerusalem, were killed on Saturday night just south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

A car driven by a 50-year-old Israeli man hit the vehicle belonging to the two brothers, which had parked on the side of the road, according to Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom.

The brothers were fixing a punctured tyre when the settler drove his vehicle into them, the Wafa news agency reported.

Mohammad Muteir died at the scene, and Muhannad Muteir was pronounced dead at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Palestinian politician Mohammad Shtayyeh called the attack a "horrific crime". Palestinian news outlets said that the two brothers had been with their family in Nablus, preparing for their sister's wedding next Friday. 

Qalandia announced a general strike for Sunday.

In a press statement, the director of the Jerusalem Governorate office in Qalandia, Zakaria Fayala, said the settler "deliberately" sped up his car and rammed into the brothers, killing one on the spot.

Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian lawmaker, called the latest incident a "hit & run murder", adding "more #IsraelCrimes with impunity".

Rising tensions

Earlier this week, the Israeli army confirmed killing a 15-year-old Palestinian girl during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. 

The US has called for "accountability" following the killing. 

The latest deaths come amid a spike in Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank this year and a resurgence of Palestinian armed resistance. 

Since the beginning of the year, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces has risen to 218, including 52 in the Gaza Strip and 166 in the West Bank, making it one of the deadliest years on record for Palestinians since 2005.

Israel has recently been conducting raid-and-arrest operations across the West Bank on a near-daily basis, often killing or wounding Palestinians in the process. 

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The operations have resulted in more than 2,500 arrests, according to Israeli authorities. Many of the deadly raids have occurred in the Jenin and Nablus areas.

Israel's "shoot-to-kill policy" has been widely criticised as the number of Palestinian deaths at the hands of its forces increases. 

Meanwhile, 29 Israelis, including soldiers, have been killed by Palestinians in the same period, the highest number since 2008.

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