Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in West Bank

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Relatives mourn the death of Palestinian teenager Mahdi Hashash, who died of shrapnel wounds amid an Israeli raid, during his funeral in the refugee camp of Balata near the West Bank city of Nablus on November 9, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Two Palestinians, including a teenager, were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Wednesday. اضافة اعلان

The Palestinian health ministry said Mahdi Mohammad Hashash, 15, died of “serious wounds caused by shrapnel ... during the occupation’s incursion into Nablus”, the largest city in the northern West Bank.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said three others were wounded in the clashes.

The Israeli military said troops had been in the area to secure “the entrance of worshippers to Joseph’s Tomb”, believed to be the last resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph and a flashpoint for West Bank violence.

It said “shots were heard” at the site, and troops fired “towards a terrorist who placed a bomb in the area”.

“A hit was identified,” it added, without directly commenting on Hashash’s death.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement, issued a statement claiming Hashash as one of its members.

A Jewish settler organization told AFP that eight Israeli politicians — current lawmakers and others elected on November 1 who have yet to be sworn in — were visiting Joseph’s Tomb.

The group included members of veteran hawk Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and allies from the extreme right Religious Zionism bloc.

Hours later, the ministry said Rafaat Issa, 29, had been killed by Israeli fire in a separate incident west of the city of Jenin.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Issa was shot near the Israeli-built separation wall that runs along the West Bank border.

There was no immediate information on the violence in the area, but Palestinians have previously been killed while trying to cross the barrier.

Hashash was buried later Wednesday, with family and friends packing the Nablus morgue as the funeral procession began. 

The Palestinian office of religious sites considers Joseph’s Tomb to be an Islamic archaeological monument.

Israeli forces organize monthly escorted pilgrimages to the site but prohibit civilians entering on their own.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

About 475,000 illegal Jewish settlers currently live in the West Bank alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians.

This year is on track to be the deadliest in the territory since 2015.

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