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Two young Palestinians killed by Israeli army in raid on West Bank city of Qabatiya

Deceased young Palestinian men Warani Walid Qatanat (L) and Ahmad Jamal Assaf (Photo by Palestinian Shehab news agency)

Israeli troops have shot dead two young Palestinian men during a military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Qabatiya, the latest in a year-long spike of violence that shows no sign of abating, a day after the regime’s military assassinated three Islamic Jihad commanders in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said it conducted a raid in the early hours of Wednesday on Qabatiya, situated six kilometers (3.7 miles) south of Jenin, alleging that it came after two gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops from a passing vehicle.

“The troops responded by firing at the two assailants, killing them,” the military claimed, adding that the troops seized an assault rifle and handgun from the car.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the victims as 19-year-old Ahmad Jamal Assaf, and Warani Walid Qatanat, 24, according to Palestine’s official news agency Wafa.

Another Palestinian was injured in the assault.

Witnesses said a large number of Israeli forces raided Qabatiya and broke into several homes in the western neighborhood of the West Bank city. They violently searched the buildings and ransacked all properties before leaving.

It came a day after the Israeli military conducted air strikes against the Gaza Strip, assassinating three senior Islamic Jihad officials.

They included Khalil al-Bahitini, commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, Tariq Izz al-Din, a spokesperson for the movement who also manages retaliatory operations in the West Bank and Gaza, and Jihad al-Ghannam, secretary of the movement’s military council.

Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, among many Muslim countries, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned in separate statements the Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip that also killed women and children.

The Lebanese foreign ministry warned of “the seriousness of the Israeli escalation and the continuation of Israeli desecration of Islamic and Christian holy places,” saying such vicious acts pose a serious threat to international peace and security.

It also called for “an urgent international action in order to broker an immediate ceasefire, and avoid continuation of the cycle of violence and loss of life and property.”

The OIC also said in a statement that the “heinous crime” committed by the occupying Tel Aviv regime against the Gaza Strip, describing it as a blatant violation of international law and humanitarian principles.

It held Israel “fully responsible for the repercussions of such crimes, acts of aggression and organized terrorism,” emphasizing that they “threaten to undermine security and stability in the region.”

The organization called on the international community “to shoulder its responsibilities, provide international protection to Palestinian people, and hold Israel to account for all its crimes and violations against Palestinians as well as their land and holy sites.”

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