Israeli forces have killed two Palestinian men during a military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, increasing the total number of Palestinians killed this year to 94.
“Two citizens were killed by the occupation bullets in Nablus,” the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.
The two men, identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as Mohammad Abu Baker al-Junaidi and Mohammad Saeed Nasser, were accused by the Israeli army of being involved in an attack in February that killed two Israelis in Huwara.
Ahmad Jibril, the head of the Palestinian Red Crescent, said dozens of people in al-Makhfiyeh neighbourhood were injured after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the early morning.
The Israeli army said its forces fired bullets after coming under fire during the raid, which lasted for about two and a half hours.
Al-Junaidi was the Fatah party’s secretary-general in the village of Juneid and an armed fighter. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority currently governs the West Bank.
Nasser, 21, was a member of the Lions’ Den – a group which formally emerged in December last year amid a phenomenon of growing armed Palestinian resistance, particularly in Nablus and Jenin.
Two Palestinians, Izz al-Din Touqan and Nidal Tabanja, were arrested during the raid after being accused by Israel of having helped al-Junaidi and Nasser.
Israeli far-right settlers went on a rampage in Huwara on February 27, after the Israelis were killed, burning down dozens of cars and houses in what was dubbed a “pogrom”. Days later, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for Huwara to be “wiped out”.
Nablus and nearby Jenin have been the focus of violent incursions that Israel has intensified over the past year.