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Israeli driver kills 2 Palestinians, wounds 1

An Israeli tow truck driver shot dead two Palestinians and wounded one Sunday during what police said was an attempted car robbery in the West Bank.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinian men ambushed the Israeli's vehicle and beat him over the head with chains and bars before the driver opened fire in self-defense. He said the driver is being treated for head wounds at an Israeli hospital, and a police investigation is continuing.

The Palestinian men have criminal records, according to Palestinian police.

The two men died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest, said Ziyad Abu Zahara, acting director of a hospital in Hebron in the southern West Bank. The incident occurred near the city.

Though the Israeli driver has been identified by police as coming from the south of the country — and not a West Bank settlement — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the shooting was the work of a Jewish settler and implied it was intentional.

"Those (settlers) ... commit their crimes under the protection of the government and Israeli military," Abbas said.