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Schools shut as troops hunt for West Bank shooting suspect

By AFP - Aug 20,2023 - Last updated at Aug 20,2023

People wait by their cars after Israeli forces closed a road following a reported attack in the town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank, on Saturday (AFP photo)

HUWARA, Palestine — Schools were shut on Sunday in the occupied West Bank town of Huwara as Israeli forces searched for the suspected killer of an Israeli father and his son who were shot dead over the weekend.

The two Israeli men were gunned down Saturday at a car wash in Huwara, in the latest attack to rock the territory where violence has surged this year.

Israeli media identified the two as Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and Aviad Nir, 28.

Nablus's acting governor Ghassan Daghlas ordered the closure of Huwara's schools "after requests from parents who are afraid of reactions from settlers", he told AFP.

On Sunday, Israeli forces also blocked access to the nearby villages of Beita and Aqraba as their manhunt continued, an AFP correspondent reported from the area.

In a separate incident on Sunday, an Israeli civilian was injured in the West Bank when troops fired at a group of "masked suspects" who turned out to be Israeli citizens.

The incident happened near the Israeli settlement of Maale Levona, not far from Nablus.

The army said a number of "masked suspects" were seen in the area of Maale Levona at around 03:00am on Sunday.

 The West Bank has seen a surge in violence since early last year, with a string of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli targets, repeated Israeli forces raids and violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinian communities.

At least 218 Palestinians have been killed in violence linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year.

Excluding occupied East Jerusalem, the territory is home to nearly three million Palestinians and around 490,000 Israelis who live in settlements considered illegal under international law.

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