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Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Nablus raid

An Israeli soldier fires a projectile during clashes in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. ©AFP

Nablus (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians Monday in a morning raid in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, in what the army described as "counterterrorism activity".

"Two martyrs shot by the occupation (Israel) in Nablus," the ministry confirmed in a brief statement, without elaborating on their identities.

The Israeli army said it had carried out the raid to apprehend two individuals linked to a shooting attack in which two Israeli soldiers were injured last month in the West Bank town of Huwara.

"During the activity, a number of armed gunmen fired at the forces who responded with live fire.Hits were identified," the army statement said, adding that two individuals were arrested.

Israeli forces have carried out a number of deadly raids in the flashpoint city of Nablus in recent months with the emergence of a militant group dubbed the Lions' Den, which has been blamed for a number of attacks on Israeli targets.

In a Monday statement, the Lions' Den said its members were involved in "confronting the occupation forces' storming of the city of Nablus".

The raid came two days after a peak in violence that saw two killed in confrontations with Israeli forces, amid fears of escalation in the conflict during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Since the start of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of at least 90 Palestinians, 15 Israelis and one Ukranian, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

These figures include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, including minors, and on the Israeli side, mostly civilians including minors and two members of the Arab minority.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

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