Israeli forces have killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, a day after Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with missiles that killed 15 people in separate attacks over several hours.
The health ministry identified the slain men as Ahmad Jamal Assaf, 19, and Warani Walid Qatanat, 24, who were shot by Israeli soldiers in Qabatiya town, South of Jenin, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Wednesday.
Witnesses reported that a large force of Israeli soldiers “raided the town and broke into several homes in the Western neighbourhood, searched them and ransacked them”, WAFA reported.
“During the assault, soldiers opened fire at a car killing two and wounding a third,” the news agency said.
Social media users in the town also reported that Israeli forces were raiding homes and stopping cars on the streets.
In a statement, the Israeli military claimed the deceased had fired on soldiers from a vehicle and were killed by return fire. One M-16 assault rifle and a handgun were found at the scene, it said.
Two Palestinians were killed on Tuesday in an Israeli air attack on a car in the Southern Gaza Strip, according to local ambulance paramedics and the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Earlier in the day, 40 Israeli military aircraft, including drones, carried out a series of early morning missile attacks on Gaza, killing at least 13 people, including three members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement as well as their wives, several children, and other civilians.
About 20 people were also injured, some in critical condition, in the Israeli air attacks that left residential buildings ablaze in central Gaza City and reduced others to rubble.
At least 123 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far this year, according to Palestinian figures.