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2 Israeli settlers shot dead in West Bank retaliatory shooting

Israeli paramedics and military forces are seen at the scene of a retaliatory Palestinian shooting operation in the occupied West Bank town of Huwara on August 19, 2023. (Photo via social media)

At least two Israeli men have been shot and killed in a retaliatory operation by a Palestinian gunman south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

The regime's Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency service said on Saturday its paramedics carried out resuscitation efforts on a 29-year-old man and a man in his 60s who were hit by gunfire.

The shooting occurred inside a carwash in the Palestinian town of Huwara.

“Both were unconscious and had sustained gunshot wounds to their bodies,” a spokesperson for the ambulance service said.

They were both declared dead at the scene shortly afterward.

The Israeli military said it had launched a manhunt for the assailant and closed off a number of roads in the area.

The Palestinian man is believed by the Israeli army to have approached the carwash on foot and opened fire at the two Israeli men with a handgun, according to a preliminary investigation. It was unclear how the assailant fled.

Circumstances in the area have been particularly volatile over the past 15 months.

Hamas reaction

The Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements lauded the retaliatory attack as a “heroic shooting in Huwara.”

Mohammad Hamadeh, spokesman for the Hamas branch in occupied al-Quds, said the operation conveys a message of strength to the Zionist enemy, and signifies that the Tel Aviv regime’s all-out efforts to eradicate the resistance front through criminal practices are futile.

Hamadeh said the Huwara retaliatory shooting struck fear into the heart of the regime.

Abdul Latif al-Qanou, another Hamas spokesman, said the retaliatory shooting in Huwara is the result of resistance groups’ solemn promise to defend the Palestinian nation, respond to Israeli crimes, and protect the al-Aqsa Mosque compound against the dangers of division and Judaization.

He said retaliatory operations will continue, extend to the Israeli army as well as settlers, and will dispel the incumbent far-right administration’s myth to construct a Jewish temple in place of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Qanou said Palestinian resistance fighters shattered the invincibility myth of the Israeli military and settlers, and targeted killings, arrests and prosecutions will not manage to dishearten Palestinians.

Israeli forces launch raids on various cities of the West Bank on an almost daily basis under the pretext of detaining what it calls “wanted” Palestinians. The raids usually lead to violent confrontations with residents.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in the occupied Palestinian territories and Gaza. The majority of these fatalities have been recorded in the West Bank. At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian retaliatory attacks against Israeli settlers during that time.

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