Two Palestinians killed in West Bank as Israel intercepts flying object from Gaza


Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Monday as tensions remain high in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said that Mohammad Junaidi Abu Bakr and Mohammad Nasser Said al-Hallaq were killed by Israeli military guns during a raid in the city of Nablus. Israeli forces conducted raids across the city and arrested two others, the PA’s official WAFA news agency reported.

The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that they carried out an operation in Nablus, saying that they exchanged gunfire with armed attackers. The operation was in response to the March 25 shooting of two IDF soldiers in the West Bank town of Hawara. The IDF made arrests in Nablus, which were announced in a series of tweets.

Meanwhile, IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee said Israeli warplanes intercepted an “unknown piece of air” over the Gaza Strip. The object did not enter Israeli airspace, he tweeted.

Later on Monday, the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad claimed credit for a shooting at the northern Israeli town of Ma’ale Gilboa. There were no casualties, according to The Times of Israel.

Why it’s important: Attacks between armed Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank are not uncommon, but there have been a particularly high number of incidents this year. Tensions have been high since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in late December.

The tension is affecting Israeli politics, and could boil over again during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Netanyahu said he fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last week in response to the government’s call to end the government’s controversial judicial reform plans. However, Gallant is still in office. Israeli media reported on Monday that Netanyahu is delaying the shooting due to security tensions with the Palestinians.

More information: Israel shot down another flying object from Syria on Sunday. The incident followed several suspected Israeli strikes in Syria that killed Iranian military officers. Iran has vowed revenge for the deaths.

Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include information on Islamic Jihad attacking a home in northern Israel.

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