Imad Abu Rasheed, 47, and Ramzi Zabara, 35, were killed by Israeli troops south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – The Israeli military shot dead two Palestinian men at a military checkpoint south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced shortly before 2 a.m. (11 a.m. GMT) on Friday that Imad Abu Rasheed, 47, was killed with bullets to the stomach, chest and head, with two others seriously injured.
At 6:30 a.m. (03:30 GMT), officials reported that 35-year-old Ramzi Sami Zabara was unable to cope with a gunshot wound to the heart.
The circumstances of their murder are still unclear.
The Israeli military said in a statement that its forces were “conducting an operation near the Hawara checkpoint” and that they “identified two suspicious vehicles and fired on them”. based on Israeli media.
The identity of the other injured man was not immediately known, but he is believed to be in stable condition after undergoing surgery at Rafidia hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
Both Zabara and Abu Rasheed work for the Palestinian Authority’s Civil Defense Force, and live in the Askar refugee camp on the eastern outskirts of Nablus.
A Nablus-based journalist, Shadi Jarar’ah, told Al Jazeera that they were in a car with the wounded man, when they were fired upon by Israeli forces.
Jarar’ah said Israeli forces also shot and arrested a fourth man who was sitting in a private car at the checkpoint.
A video shared by local media shows Israeli soldiers loading the body of an injured Palestinian man on a stretcher into an ambulance.
In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it “condemns the execution” of the two men and “considers it as organized state terrorism and racism”.
The city of Nablus and surrounding villages, home to some 420,000 people, have been heavily blockaded by the Israeli military for more than two weeks. Hours before Friday’s event, the Israeli military said loosen some restrictions about traveling in and out of the Nablus region.
The siege was imposed as Israeli forces searched for suspects in an October 11 shooting in which an Israeli soldier was killed near the illegal Israeli settlement Shavei Shomron, northwest of Nablus. Recently formed Lions ‘Dena small armed resistance group based in the Old City of Nablus, claimed responsibility and the man who carried it out is still on the run.
Friday’s killings come days after the Israeli military launched a major raid on the Old City of Nablus and killed five Palestinian men, three of them from the Lions’ Den group. Two other people were unarmed barbers on their way home from work when they were shot dead by Israeli special forces on the street, residents and journalists. told Al Jazeera.
Thousands of people have supported funeral of five menincluding hundreds of men armed with rifles and those who fired live ammunition into the air – a symbol of widespread mourning and anger.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli forces have killed at least 186 Palestinians since the start of the year, including 134 in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank and 51 in the besieged Gaza Strip. The death toll included 41 children, 17 of whom were killed in Israel’s three-day assault on Gaza in August.
The United Nations has speak that 2022 “is the year with the highest number of Palestinian deaths in the West Bank, compared with the same period in the previous 16 years”.