JERUSALEM (AP) — Two Palestinian men were killed by Israeli troops in an army raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Monday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, the latest in a year-long spike of violence that shows no sign of abating.
The Israeli military said that troops arrested two people suspected of assisting a gunman who shot two soldiers in the occupied West Bank town of Hawara last month. The army said its soldiers came under fire during the raid and shot back, confirming “hits.”
Violence has surged in recent months in the West Bank and east Jerusalem amid near-daily Israeli arrest raids in Palestinian-controlled areas and a string of Palestinian attacks.
The U.S. has tried to broker talks between Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians to try to defuse tensions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, now in its second week.
At least 88 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli or settler gunfire this year, according to an Associated Press tally. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed 15 people in the same period.
Israel says most of those killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and people not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.
The Israeli military also said Monday that fighter jets intercepted an “unidentified aircraft over the Gaza Strip” that didn’t enter Israel’s airspace.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said that the intercepted aircraft was one of its unmanned attack drones conducting an exercise.
Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for their future independent state.