Three Palestinians reported killed amid series of deadly West Bank clashes

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 Three Palestinians reported killed amid series of deadly West Bank clashes
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By Ali Sawafta


RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli forces killed at least three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian officials said, in the latest in a months-long series of deadly clashes between security forces and Palestinians.

Two brothers were killed near the hub city of Ramallah and a third man was shot in the head in the town of Beit Ummar near the city of Hebron in clashes with Israeli forces, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Israeli military confirmed the two clashes and said it was aware of the reports of two Palestinians killed near Ramallah and was investigating.

Later on Tuesday, Israel's emergency services said they treated a young woman who was seriously injured after being hit by a car in what the military said was a ramming attack near the Kochav Yaakov settlement outside Jerusalem. Police said they shot the suspected attacker.

The Israeli military has cracked down on militant groups and protesters across the West Bank following a number of attacks by Palestinians in Israel earlier this year.

Last week, incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named far-rightist Itamar Ben-Gvir as security minister with powers over West Bank policing under a coalition deal being worked out to form a new government.

Tuesday's clashes began when two Israeli military vehicles stalled outside Beit Ummar during what the army called routine activity and troops opened fire when protesters shot at them and hurled rocks and petrol bombs, the military said.

The incident near Ramallah appeared similar, with troops firing on protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs.

Hundreds gathered outside a Ramallah hospital to pay their respects to the family of the two brothers, both in their early twenties.

"They are my children," the father was heard saying through tears as he embraced his dead sons in a video circulating on social media.

Senior Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh in a tweet called the killing of the brothers an "execution in cold blood". The Palestinian health ministry said 205 Palestinians have been killed this year, including those who died during a brief conflict in Gaza in August.

According to Israeli military figures, prior to Tuesday's bloodshed, the number of Palestinians killed so far this year stood at 136, including civilians and members of militant groups. At the same time, 23 Israeli civilians and eight security personnel have been killed in Israel and the West Bank.

(Reporting by Emily Rose and Ali Sawafta; Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Henriette Chacar; Editing by James Mackenzie and Nick Macfie)

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