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3 More Palestinians Killed in Ongoing Israeli Violence in West Bank

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The latest wave of Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank shows no signs of abating after the killing of three more Palestinians on Sunday.

The occupation army claimed that the three Palestinians were armed and “fired” at an army position near the Jit junction, west of Nablus, while the soldiers responded with “live fire”.

“Three gunmen were neutralized during the exchange of fire, and another gunman surrendered himself to the forces,” the army said in a statement, noting that none of the Israeli forces was wounded in the clash.

The army claimed that the soldiers, from a Golani infantry reconnaissance unit, seized three M-16 rifles and a pistol used by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said it had been informed of the death of three men by Israeli fire near Nablus, without providing further details.

The incident took place a short distance from an Israeli settlement, where the head of the settlers’ regional council in Samaria commended the army for killing him.

Yossi Dagan said in a statement, using the name Israel has used for the West Bank and Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

Violence escalated last year, but it has worsened in the West Bank since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to office in December in a ruling coalition with ultra-Orthodox Jews and their far-right allies.

The government of Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption on charges he denies, has vowed to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank.

He calls for revenge

Earlier on Thursday, an armed member of the Palestinian movement Hamas opened fire outside a cafe in Tel Aviv, wounding three men in their 30s before being shot dead.

Hours ago, three armed Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military operation in the northern West Bank.

Several Palestinian armed groups on Tuesday called for revenge for the killing of six Palestinians in an Israeli army raid in the northern West Bank.

The Tel Aviv attack came just hours after Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin called for a de-escalation ahead of Ramadan, which begins in March, and the Jewish holiday of Passover in April.

After talks with Netanyahu and his counterpart Yoav Gallant during a short visit to Israel, Austin also called on the Palestinian leadership to combat violence, resume security cooperation, and condemn incitement.

In Beitar Illit, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank southwest of Jerusalem, the military said bomb disposal experts detonated a suspicious device found on a bus Thursday night.

A Palestinian from a nearby village was arrested Saturday for placing an explosive device on a bus, along with four others suspected of helping him, according to the army.

Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 81 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians.

12 Israeli civilians, including three children, a policeman and a Ukrainian civilian, were killed during the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

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