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Israeli forces kill two gunmen in clashes in W.Bank, attack boats off Gaza

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© Reuters. People gather at the scene where two Palestinian militants were killed during clashes with Israeli forces during a raid, in Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, July 24, 2022. REUTERS / Raneen Sawafta

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By Ali Sawafta

NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants in a pre-dawn clash in the occupied West Bank on Sunday and, off the coast of the Gaza Strip, attacked a fishing boat accused of forced to smuggle Hamas supplies from Egypt after two of its crews had escaped.

The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group claims two Palestinians killed at a house in Nablus were members of the group. The Palestinian Health Ministry said six other people were injured.

Israeli security forces in an apparent manhunt outside the house of a wanted suspect were shot by gunmen and “responded with live ammunition and other means until the terrorists were neutralized.” inside the house and on its roof,” police said.

A neighbor, Naser Estitya, 60, said he heard gunfire from inside the house before the Israelis opened fire on the house. “They called a man by name, asked him to surrender,” he said.

Pictures from the scene show that part of the wall on the top floor has been destroyed.

“Another crime by the occupying forces in the ancient city of #Nablus, where martyrs fell and many were injured,” Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official, said on Twitter (NYSE). :). “We strongly condemn this crime and we hold the occupation accountable for its consequences.”

US-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza collapsed in 2014 and show no signs of reviving.

Israeli forces have stepped up raids in recent months in the West Bank after men from the area carried out deadly street attacks in Israel. The Western-backed Palestinian government regularly condemns such incursions.

The Palestinian fishermen said that the two crew members dived into the Mediterranean Sea and swam to safety before the Israeli navy opened fire on their boat. A photo circulating on social media shows black smoke rising close to the coast of Gaza.

A military spokesman said the ship had come from Egypt and strayed from Israel’s maritime zone on Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas force. The military said the navy fired on the boat after it ignored orders to stop, adding that it was carrying unspecified supplies to Hamas.

Nizar Ayyash, president of the fishermen’s union, describing the two crew members as fishermen, told Reuters: “The boat was on fire and completely destroyed, I thought it might have sunk but the fishermen on board jumped and swim to shore. This is not the first time they have made such allegations and in the end these allegations were proven to be baseless. “

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