News / Middle East

2 Palestinians Killed as Israel Searches for Teens

Israeli soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians as troops conduct a search for three missing Israeli teens in the West Bank village of Kabatyeh near Jenin, June 22, 2014.
Israeli soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians as troops conduct a search for three missing Israeli teens in the West Bank village of Kabatyeh near Jenin, June 22, 2014.
VOA News
Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank early Sunday in separate clashes that erupted as the military continues its search for three missing Israeli teenagers.

Israel say one Palestinian man was killed in the Nablus area after ignoring warning shots and approaching them in what was described as "a threatening manner."  The man's family told the French news agency, AFP, the man was mentally challenged.   

Another Palestinian man was killed in gunfire in Ramallah, the Palestinians' administrative capital of the West Bank.

The three Israeli youths, one with a U.S. passport, disappeared on June 12 in the southern West Bank.  .

Israel has blamed the militant group Hamas for the abduction, but has no proof they were involved.  On Sunday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied that the Israeli military were being heavy-handed in their search for the youths.

"We are in the midst of a concerted effort of bringing the boys back home. This effort entails a certain friction with the civilian population in Judea and Samaria; we have no intention of deliberately harming anyone but our forces are acting as necessary for self-defense and from time to time there are victims or casualties," he said. 

A Palestinian spokesman says the three Israeli youths disappeared from an area of the West Bank controlled by Israelis, and the Palestinian Authority is working in coordination with Israel in the search for the missing tens.  

Israel has arrested dozens of people, many of them Hamas members, in West Bank raids as the army searches for the missing teens. At least four Palestinians have now been killed in the operation.

Israeli teen killed

Meanwhile, Israeli officials say an explosion destroyed a vehicle in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights killing a teenager who went to work with his father.

Authorities say the 15-year-old boy's father was a contractor who worked on the Golan frontier fence along the Syrian border.  

Officials say the father and another contractor were injured in the blast Sunday.  

Security officials say it appears the vehicle was either the target of a roadside bomb or an artillery shell or mortar round fired from Syria.  

Authorities say if the attack did come from Syria, it would be the first time gunfire from the Syrian conflict has killed an Israeli.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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