Two Palestinians killed in Israel attack

GAZA CITY – Two Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday with authorities in the Hamas-run territory blaming an Israeli strike, but Israel’s military immediately denying the claim.

The circumstances of the incident, which occurred near Gaza’s northern border with Israel, were initially unclear.

Palestinian health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP the two men were killed “in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza after an Israeli strike targeted a motorcycle”.

The Israeli army immediately denied this, saying in a statement “contrary to Palestinian reports earlier today, the (army) did not attack in the northern Gaza Strip”.

Qudra named the two men as Hussein Ghazi Nasrallah and Mustafa al-Sultan, both in their 20s.

Family members at the hospital where the bodies were taken told AFP the two men were members of Islamic Jihad, an Islamist group that fought alongside Hamas in the last war with Israel in 2014.

The deaths came amid tensions between Palestinians and Israeli forces following US President Donald Trump’s announcement he would move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognise the city as Israel’s capital.

Four Gazans, including two Hamas militants, have died since the announcement last Wednesday. Two were killed in clashes, while two others died in Israeli air strikes in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

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