Jerusalem, Apr 11 (EFE).- Two Palestinians were killed on Tuesday after they attacked an Israeli military post near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased as Abdullah Saud and Mohamed Abu Dira.
The two deaths mean that 98 Palestinians have died so far this year in violent incidents with Israel, most of them in the West Bank, which has seen the most violent start to a year since the second intifada, a major uprising that began in 2000.
According to the army, troops stationed outside the Palestinian village of Deir al Hatab identified a group of armed Palestinians in a vehicle who opened fire at a military post outside the Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh.
Troops ambushed the gunmen and fired on them, killing two and wounding a third who fled towards Nablus.
The army, which recovered three M16 assault rifles and two pistols from the area of the incident, said that no soldiers were injured in the attack.
“In their successful operation, the soldiers prevented an attack on Israeli civilians,” praised Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.
In a separate incident on Tuesday, an unarmed Palestinian man was arrested after lunging at Border Police officers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
According to a police spokesman, the 23-year-old Hebron resident attacked the officers near the city’s Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. One of the officers fired into the air while another knocked the man to the ground, who was lightly wounded.
On Tuesday morning, the Israeli army reported that it had captured an alleged “Palestinian terror cell” planning an “imminent attack” during a raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Tuesday’s incidents come amid a spike in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, exacerbated by police raids last week against worshippers at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque, which then provoked rocket fire by Palestinian militias from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, to which Israel responded with shelling.
So far this year, 98 Palestinians have been killed. Most were militiamen killed in violent clashes with Israeli troops, but civilians have also died, including 18 minors, while on the Israeli side 19 civilians have died, mostly settlers, including three children. EFE