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Israeli forces kill two Palestinian gunmen in West Bank raid

Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants Friday in the occupied West Bank, a day after the United Nations urged a “meaningful political process” to stem renewed violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A firefight erupted during an Israeli military raid on the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

The Palestinian health ministry announced “two martyrs and three injured as a result of the occupation (Israeli) aggression on Nablus”. The Israeli army reported “no injuries” among its forces.

The army said it had entered Nablus to arrest two individuals wanted over a shooting earlier this month at Israeli police in a West Bank settlement that resulted in no casualties.

The Palestinian health ministry in a statement identified the two dead as Khairi Shaheen, 34, and Hamza Maqbul, 32, who the army said “were killed following an exchange of fire with security forces”.

“During the activity, weapons which were used by the terrorists were confiscated,” the army added.

Witnesses told AFP Israeli troops entered Nablus on Friday morning and surrounded a house in the Old City, a stronghold of armed Palestinian groups, before calling on those inside to turn themselves in.

The Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), claimed Shaheen and Maqbul as its members.

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