Jerusalem: Three Palestinian men were killed by Israeli fire during separate incidents in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday.
They were the latest deadly incidents in a mounting surge of Israeli-Palestinian violence and soaring tensions, less than a week after a bombing in Jerusalem killed two Israelis.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that clashes erupted between Israeli forces and residents north of the city of Hebron in the West Bank.
The Israeli military said soldiers shot at Palestinians who hurled rocks and improvised explosive devices at the forces operating in the town. The army said the Palestinians also shot at the troops, and two army vehicles got stuck due to mechanical issues.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man killed near Hebron as Mufid Khalil, 44, and said at least eight other people were wounded by live fire in the incident.
In a separate incident, two brothers identified by Wafa as Jawad and Dhafr Rimawi, 22 and 21, were killed by Israeli fire during clashes with troops near the village of Kafr Ein, west of Ramallah in the northern West Bank early Tuesday.
The Israeli military did not immediately respond to comment regarding the second incident near Kafr Ein. Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been surging for months amid nightly Israeli raids in the West Bank, prompted by a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis that killed 19 people in the spring.
Over 138 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting
More than 138 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem this year, making it the deadliest year since 2006. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting Israeli army incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.
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