Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in West Bank: Palestinian ministry

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Three Palestinian fighters were killed in an overnight Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian sources.

In a statement Monday, the Palestinian health ministry identified the three men killed in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus as Muhammad Abu Zaytoun (32), Fathi Abu Rizk (30) and Abdullah Abu Hamdan (24).

The Israeli army did not immediately comment when contacted by AFP.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, said in a statement that the three were among the group’s “fighters.”

The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Nearly three million Palestinians live there, along with about 490,000 Israelis in settlements considered to be illegal under international law.

The latest deaths come just over a week into a fragile Gaza cease-fire after a five day cross-border conflict between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group.

Since the start of the year, at least 153 Palestinians, 20 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian have been killed in violence linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources from both sides.

They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, and on the Israeli side, mostly civilians and three members of the Arab minority.

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