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Four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in occupied West Bank clashes

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Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in two separate incidents of violence in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, October 5, 2023, according to Palestinian officials and witnesses.

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a gas station and a restaurant near the Israeli settlement of Eli, south of Nablus, killing four Israelis and wounding several others, before they were shot dead by Israeli soldiers, the Israeli military said. The attack was one of the deadliest in recent years and sparked a wave of revenge attacks by Israeli settlers in nearby Palestinian towns and villages.

Hours later, another Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces in Huwara, also south of Nablus, after he allegedly fired at a group of settlers on a motorcycle, but no injuries or damage were reported. Israeli forces prevented medical aid from reaching the scene and took the body of the slain Palestinian, witnesses said.

The violence came amid heightened tensions in the West Bank, where on Monday an Israeli military raid into the Jenin refugee camp triggered a fierce gun battle with Palestinian militants that killed six Palestinians and wounded dozens more. Palestinian militants used powerful roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades to target Israeli military vehicles, while Israeli forces deployed helicopter gunships to evacuate stranded troops.

The surge in violence has raised fears of a possible escalation of the conflict, which has killed more than 150 Palestinians and 28 Israelis so far this year, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “settle the score with the murderers” and said “all options are open” to respond to the attacks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli raids and killings as “crimes against humanity” and called for international protection for the Palestinian people. He also urged Palestinians to remain calm and avoid further bloodshed.

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