JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians and wounded a third after the men opened fire on a Border Police base in the occupied West Bank on Friday, police said.
They said the three attackers opened fire on the base near the northern West Bank town of Jenin. The Border Police and an Israeli soldier opened fire in response, killing two of the men and wounding a third, who was evacuated to a hospital.
The violence comes at a time of heightened tensions over east Jerusalem, where dozens of Palestinians are at risk of being evicted following a long legal battle with Israeli settlers. Palestinian protesters have clashed with police there on a nightly basis in recent weeks.
On Thursday, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting earlier this week in the West Bank that killed an Israeli and wounded two others.
Late Wednesday, Israeli troops shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian during a confrontation near the West Bank city of Nablus. The military said several Palestinians had thrown firebombs toward soldiers.
The deaths came amid an uptick in violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In recent days, protesters have scuffled with police and settlers over the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Several Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah have been embroiled in a long-running legal battle with Israeli settler groups trying to acquire property in the neighborhood north of the Old City.
Protesters have also clashed with police over restrictions on outdoor gatherings at the Damascus Gate on the edge of the Old City, a popular meeting place for Muslims following nightly prayers during Ramadan.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza — territories the Palestinians want for their future state — in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and views the entire city as its capital.
The Palestinians view east Jerusalem — which includes holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims — as their capital, and its fate is one of the most sensitive issues in the Mideast conflict.
Neighboring Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994 and is the custodian of a major holy site in east Jerusalem that is sacred to Jews and Muslims, weighed in on Friday, saying “Israel's continuation of its illegal practices and provocative steps" in the city is a “dangerous game.”
“Building and expanding settlements, confiscating lands, demolishing homes and deporting Palestinians from their homes are illegal practices that perpetuate the occupation and undermine the chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace, which is a regional and international necessity," Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi tweeted.