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NABLUS, (Palestinian Territories): Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday during what Israel described as an operation against a “terrorist cell”.

The Palestinian health ministry and Israel’s border police both confirmed three deaths. The border police said the dead were “armed terrorists who were... killed during clashes with the security forces”. It said the three were responsible for recent shooting attacks on Israeli troops and civilians.

No Israelis were harmed in the operation, it added. Sources in the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas identified two of the dead as Adham Mabrouk and Muhammad Al-Dakhil, adding that they were affiliated with the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

According to a Palestinian security source, “Israeli soldiers who were in a civilian vehicle intercepted a Palestinian vehicle and directly fired at it, which led to the deaths of three young men.” Onlookers captured video of the bullet-ridden vehicle, shot in broad daylight in the city. Hundreds of Palestinians thronged the streets outside Rafidia hospital in Nablus as the bodies of the three were carried out.

The city lies in the north of the West Bank, a Palestinian territory that Israel has occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967 and is the scene of frequent unrest.

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