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2 Palestinian teens shot dead after allegedly attacking settler

March 2, 2016 9:47 A.M. (Updated: March 3, 2016 9:48 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers on Wednesday morning after they allegedly attacked an Israeli settler in the illegal settlement of Eli south of Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the Palestinians as Labib Khaldoon Anwar Azzam and Muhammad Hisham Ali Zaghlawan, both 17 years old, from the nearby village of Qaryut.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they "infiltrated" the settlement early on Wednesday and attacked the Israeli settler as he was leaving his home.

She said Israeli forces arrived on the scene and responded to the "significant threat" by opening fire on the two teenagers, killing both of them.

The settler was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem with light injuries.

Israeli media reported that he had left his home in military uniform, en route to an Israeli army reserve unit he serves in.

The Israeli army spokesperson said the Palestinians were armed with "knives and clubs," and that a gun was also found "in the vicinity." She said "initial reports" suggested it belonged to them.

Local sources in Qaryut village told Ma'an that the two teenagers had "disappeared after they performed evening prayers, and their family was searching for them." Both are secondary school students.

There have been a number of attacks carried out by Palestinians in or close to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of 2016.

On Jan. 25, two Palestinian youths were shot dead after stabbing to death a 24-year-old Israeli woman in the illegal Beit Horon settlement near Jerusalem.

A few days before, on Jan. 22, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl was shot dead after Israeli police said she attempted to stab an Israeli security guard outside the illegal settlement of Anatot northeast of Jerusalem.

The majority of Palestinians attacks since a wave of unrest swept the occupied territory in October last year have been directed at Israeli military forces deployed in the West Bank.

Around 180 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis have now been killed since the beginning of October, and the UN warned recently that the violence showed "no signs of relenting."

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