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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in West Bank raid

Ahmed Assaf and Rani Qatanat were killed in a raid on Qabatiya town, near the city of Jenin
Israeli forces sprayed a car with bullets, killing Rani Walid Qatanat (above) and Ahmed Assaf (social media)

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in a dawn raid on the town of Qabatiya in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the two men as Ahmed Jamal Tawfiq Assaf, a 19-year-old from Qabatiya, and Rani Walid Qatanat, a 24-year-old resident of Jenin refugee camp.

Israeli forces sprayed a vehicle with bullets, killing Assad and Qatanat, and wounding three others, according to local reports.

The Israeli military said in a statement that "assailants opened fire at IDF soldiers from a vehicle" and the soldiers "responded with live fire".

Eyewitnesses said a large army force raided the town, near the northern city of Jenin, under a heavy presence of drones, and closed down its main streets.

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Israeli forces used loudspeakers to order cars not to move, and stormed a number of Palestinian homes, and surrounded others.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard around the town as fighting then broke out between Israeli forces and armed residents, eyewitnesses said.

The incident brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces so far this year to 108. A total of 19 Israelis and one Ukrainian have been killed by Palestinians over the same period.

Wednesday's raid comes a day after a series of Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip killed three Islamic Jihad commanders and 12 civilians, including four children.

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