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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in separate incidents

Israeli troops gather at the site outside a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank where the army says a Palestinian was killed as he attempted to stab a soldier
— Nablus (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in separate incidents Wednesday, including one who allegedly tried to stab soldiers and a teenager who appeared to point a fake gun at police, sources on both sides said.

In the first incident, Arref Abdel Nasser Arref Lahlouh, 22, was killed "by Israeli gunfire," near the occupied West Bank Palestinian city of Qalqilya, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The army said that Lahlou "attempted to carry out a stabbing attack" near the Jewish settlement of Kdumim.

"The assailant, armed with a knife, arrived at an IDF military post and attempted to stab an IDF soldier at the scene," it said.

Lahlouh was "neutralised by the soldiers in the area," the army added.

Lahlou is the 19th Palestinian killed in the West Bank this year, including civilians and combatants, the majority of whom were shot dead by Israeli forces.

Separately on Wednesday, Israeli forces killed a teenager during an operation in the Shuafat refugee camp in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The Palestinian health ministry identified him as Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali, 17.

Forces had gone to the camp to demolish the home of Udai Tamimi, who shot and killed military policewoman Noa Lazar at a checkpoint in October.

Israeli police said that "masked terrorists threw pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails" at officers during the operation.

"The police forces identified a suspect armed with an item that looked like a weapon and was pointing it at the force," the statement said.

"Following the threat, a shot was fired at the suspect which led to his neutralisation. At the scene, police found an imitation firearm," it added.

Israeli soldiers walk in file after a demolition operation in east Jerusalem's Shuafat refugee camp on January 25

Tamimi was killed by Israeli forces after a 10-day manhunt. He was carrying out another attack at a West Bank settlement when he was shot dead.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of individuals it blames for attacks on Israelis.

Human rights activists say the policy amounts to collective punishment, as it can render non-combatants, including children, homeless.

But Israel says the practice is effective in deterring some Palestinians from carrying out attacks.

Last year, 150 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank, the highest annual toll since United Nations records began in 2005.

At least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians were killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

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