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Two Israeli civilians killed in flashpoint West Bank town, Israel military says

Two Israeli civilians were shot and killed on Saturday in the flashpoint West Bank town of Huwara, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

IDF soldiers have been pursuing the suspects and have set up blockades in the area, the military said in a statement.

The Magen David Adom (MDA) rescue service said they received a report of a shooting at 3:04 p.m. local time. Medics and paramedics arrived and performed CPR on two men – ages 60 and 29 – alongside IDF medics.

MDA paramedic Tomer Gusman said the victims were unconscious with gunshot wounds.

Huwara, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, was the scene of the fatal shooting of two Israeli settler brothers in February, following that night by revenge attacks by settlers on the Palestinian town.

The IDF has deployed extra troops in the town in the wake of the violence.

Videos taken in Huwara showed an ambulance and army vehicles at the scene, with a road checkpoint closed off to vehicles and traffic at a standstill.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant movement that runs Gaza and is increasingly popular in the West Bank, praised the attack without directly claiming responsibility for it.

Spokesperson Abdel-Latif al-Qanou said the shooting was “the product of the promise to defend our people and respond to the crimes of the occupation,” a reference to Israel.

In a statement released by his office on Saturday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said security forces were “working diligently to find the murderer.”

“I send my condolences to the family of the two murdered – a father and son – whose lives were cut short in such a cruel and criminal way during Shabbat,” Netanyahu said.

“The security forces are working diligently to find the murderer and come to terms with him, just as we have done with all the murderers so far.”

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