Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank early Sunday in separate clashes that erupted as they carried out fresh arrests in the hunt for three missing teenagers.
According to AFP, their deaths raised to four the number of Palestinians killed since the Israeli army began a vast search for the three teenagers who disappeared on June 12 while hitchhiking in the southern West Bank. Israel accuses Hamas militants of kidnapping them.
Israeli security forces have arrested 10 more Palestinians in the West Bank as they press their search for the three teens, the army said.
The Palestine Liberation Organization said some 50 former prisoners had been placed back in administrative detention by Israel and 380 Palestinians had been arrested since June 12.
The teens' seizure has been condemned by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who however on Sunday questioned why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not condemned the bloodshed triggered by the manhunt.
"I said the kidnapping was a crime, but does that justify the killing of ... Palestinian teens in cold blood?" Abbas said in an interview with Haaretz newspaper, referring to the deaths of two young Palestinians.
"What does Netanyahu have to say about the killings? Does he condemn it? Look at what's happened all over the West Bank over the past days, the violence and the destruction of homes," he said. "Is that justified?"
With the search entering its tenth day, clashes broke out in the northern cities of Nablus and Ramallah as troops went in to carry out arrests, sources on both sides said.
Troops in Ein Beit al-Mai refugee camp in western Nablus shot dead 27-year-old Ahmed Fahnawi as he was on his way to a mosque for morning prayers as clashes were taking place.
In the West Bank city of Nablus, a 60-year-old man died of a heart attack as Israeli troops searched outside his house, Palestinian security sources said.
Also early on Sunday, Israeli troops shot dead 30-year-old Mohammed Tarifi during clashes that lasted for hours in the center of Ramallah, the West Bank's political capital, Palestinian medics said.
Five others were also wounded during the incident, they said. The army had no immediate comment.
In West Bank clashes earlier in the week, troops shot dead two young Palestinians and a third was left fighting for his life.
On Monday, troops in Jalazun camp near Ramallah shot dead 19-year-old Ahmad Arafat Sabarin, and on Friday, Mohammed Dudin, 14, was killed in Dura near Hebron.
Another 20-year-old Palestinian who was shot during clashes at Qalandiya near Ramallah is fighting for his life in Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital.
Israel has seized on the opportunity afforded by the operation to try to drive a wedge between Abbas and Hamas, who recently agreed on an interim government of technocrats, ending seven years of separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.
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