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Israeli forces deploy two additional army battalions in West Bank

June 9, 2016 4:20 P.M. (Updated: June 10, 2016 10:44 A.M.)
An Israeli soldier aims his weapon at Palestinian protesters during clashes near the village of Duma on Aug. 1, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Thursday deployed two additional army battalions to the occupied West Bank in response to the deadly shooting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that left four Israelis killed and wounded an additional six.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces were being deployed to provide reinforcement for conducting a “security assessment” on the situation in the West Bank.

The spokesperson could not confirm how many soldiers would be deployed to the West Bank as part of the battalions. However, Israeli news agency Ynet reported that hundreds of additional infantry troops would make up the additional military units.

Meanwhile, in Yatta, the hometown of the two shooters, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron was completely sealed by Israeli forces shortly after dozens of Israeli troops raided the family homes of the two shooters.

Israeli forces closed all entrances to Yatta, preventing Palestinians from leaving the town with the exception of special cases.

After briefly holding a group of 100 Palestinian high school students on their way to final exams at a checkpoint leaving the town of Yatta, Israeli forces allowed their passage following interventions by military liaison officials in Hebron.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an the complete closure of the town was part of an “ongoing military assessment” and that movement to and from the town was restricted by Israeli forces except for humanitarian and medical cases.

More than 200 Palestinians and close to 30 Israelis have been killed since the beginning of a wave of unrest in October in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, which has been mainly characterized by small-scale Palestinian attacks against Israeli settlers and military targets.

The last alleged attack in Tel Aviv occurred on May 30, when a Palestinian minor was detained after allegedly carrying out a stab attack with a screwdriver, leaving a 19-year-old Israeli soldier lightly injured.

In January, a shooting attack at a Tel Aviv cafe killed two Israelis and wounded at least seven others. The suspected assailant, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, was killed a week later by Israeli forces.
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