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Israeli forces shoot, kill 2 armed Palestinians near Damascus Gate

Feb. 15, 2016 12:37 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 10:59 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians armed with guns were shot dead Sunday by Israeli forces near Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said police stationed in the area “noticed a young Arab with a bag” before asking him to halt and leave the bag aside.

Police forces opened fire on and killed the young man when he pulled an automatic weapon from the bag and directed it at forces, the spokesperson said. A second Palestinian was then shot dead by police after he opened fire in their direction.

Al-Samri said explosives and a knife were found in the bag. The two were reportedly carrying homemade rifles.

No Israelis were injured during the incident.

The incident was the third deadly shooting by Israeli forces during alleged Palestinian attacks on Sunday, leaving five Palestinians killed.

In the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, Israeli forces shot and killed two 15-year-old Palestinian teenagers near the village of al-Araqa, after the two allegedly opened fire at Israeli soldiers, according to the Israeli army.

Hours later, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian after the teen reportedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint north of Bethlehem, official Palestinian sources said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the teen as as Naim Ahmad Yousif Safi from the town of al-Ubediya, just east of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces also shot and injured a 14-year-old Palestinian girl near the Hebron Old City's Ibrahimi Mosque after an alleged attempted stabbing attack.

Local Palestinian sources provided a conflicting report, and told Ma'an the 14-year-old was with her sister, and neither had attempted an attack when she was shot.

No Israelis were injured in any of the incidents.

Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

The unrest has been marked by a surge of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals -- predominantly on Israeli military targets -- which have left over 25 Israelis dead, with the majority of suspected Palestinian attackers shot dead on site.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month said that it was “human nature” for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s decades-long military occupation, and urged change in Israel’s policies in the occupied area.
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