Israeli forces exchanged fire with Palestinians barricaded in a house in the West Bank on Sunday, killing two, according to Israeli police and the local rescue service.
Israeli authorities said armed Palestinians were killed during the hours-long predawn clash in the city of Nablus, without specifying the exact amount.
Militant group Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the two Palestinians killed at the house were its members.
No Israeli forces were wounded, police said.
The two men killed during the clash were identified as Aboud Sobh, 29, and Muhammad Al-Azizi, 22, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, a humanitarian organization.
Six others were wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
A neighbor recalled hearing gunshots from inside the house before the Israelis opened fire at the house.
“They were calling the name of one person, asking him to surrender,” said Naser Estitya, 60.
Part of the wall on the top floor had been heavily damaged, pictures from the scene revealed.
“Another crime committed by the occupation forces in the old city of #Nablus, where martyrs have fallen and many wounded,” Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official, said in a tweet. “We strongly condemn this crime, and we hold the occupation [responsible] for its repercussions.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the suspects were wanted for a series of shootings.
“We won’t sit and wait for Israeli citizens to be harmed,” he said during a meeting of his Cabinet. “We will go out and harm the terrorists in their homes.”
A rep for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the violence, declaring it was a result of Israel’s continued occupation of areas Palestinians want to be part of an independent state.
“The region will remain in a cycle of violence until the occupation is ended and a just peace achieved,” said the spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rdeneh,
The military said a violent protest broke out as troops were operating in Nablus, as protesters hurled explosive devices at soldiers and opened fire at them. The soldiers returned fire, the military said.
The military said it also operated in a separate area of the West Bank, where separate exchange of shots took place.
Israeli forces have in recent months been conducting frequent raids in the occupied West Bank, in what they have said in an attempt to put an end to a series of street attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.
The IDF has faced armed resistance during some of those operations, several of which have turned deadly.
The Palestinian attacks on Israelis earlier this year killed 19, while more than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2022, according to an official Palestinian tally.
Many Palestinians want the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories Israel captured during the Six-Day War in 1967 — for their own state.
US-led peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in those areas broke down in 2014, and have not since been resuscitated.
With Post wires