Israeli police shooting in the West Bank leaves 2 Palestinian militant group members dead, 19 injured

A Palestinian militant group has claimed the deceased as its members

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Israeli police officers and special forces were involved in a shooting in the West Bank on Sunday that left two dead and more than a dozen injured, officials from Israel and the West Bank said.

Israeli forces said the shooting took place in the city of Nablus and that at least two armed Palestinians were killed after an hours-long exchange of gunfire.

No Israeli officers were injured in the shooting, officials said.

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A witness said he heard Israeli officials calling for a single person in a house to surrender when gunshots rang out from the home, Reuters reported. The Israeli police returned fire, killing two, the witness said.

A Palestinian boy inspects the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

A Palestinian boy inspects the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022.  (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The Palestinian Red Crescent identified the deceased Palestinians as Aboud Sobh, 29, and Muhammad Al-Azizi, 22. Nineteen other Palestinians were wounded in the shooting.

Two of those who were injured are in critical condition, the local rescue service added.

The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group claimed the two deceased members, Reuters reported.

Palestinians inspect the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

Palestinians inspect the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022.  (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid confirmed the shooting and said the suspects were "terrorists" wanted for their involvement in previous shootings.

"We won't sit and wait for Israeli citizens to be harmed," Lapid said. "We will go out and harm the terrorists in their homes."

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A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the shooting was a result of an "occupation" of Israeli troops in the region.

"The region will remain in a cycle of violence until the occupation is ended and a just peace achieved," said spokesman Palestinian Authority Nabil Abu Rdeneh.

Palestinians inspect the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

Palestinians inspect the damage to a house after Palestinian gunmen were killed in an early morning Israeli military raid in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

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The shooting comes as Israeli forces have been conducting near-daily raids in the West Bank, sparking some backlash from local protesters. Recent clashes between protesters and the Israeli troops have escalated into violent exchanges, resulting in several deaths. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.