Israeli troops have killed two Palestinians during an alleged stabbing incident near the central West Bank city of Nablus as a wave of violence continues without pause.
Ali Abu Mureem, 26, and Said Abu al-Wafa, 38, were both fatally shot by Israeli forces while allegedly attempting to stab soldiers at the Hamra military checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank on Saturday morning.
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Speaking to Al Jazeera by telephone, an Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that both suspects were killed near the Jewish-only settlement of Bekaot, adding: “Israeli forces thwarted the attack and shot them.”
In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements that encircle Palestinian communities and dissect the region’s territorial contiguity.
The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to Friday’s killings as a “dangerous escalation” and part of a “continuous series of crimes and field executions by Netanyahu’s government against Palestinians”.
Also on Friday night, Israeli police killed Nashat Milhem, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who shot and killed three people on January 1, during what they called a shootout that followed a week-long manhunt.
In mid-September, Palestinian protests against Israel’s ongoing occupation were sparked by increased right-wing Jewish settler incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims.
Israeli forces have responded to demonstrations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and within Israel by using force, including live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.
Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 152 Palestinians, including unarmed protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers.
According to the Ramallah-based rights group Al-Haq, 22 of those killed since the beginning of October were children.
Meanwhile, Palestinian assailants have killed 23 Israelis, including soldiers and civilians.