(Changes one knife to three knives in fourth paragraph)
JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Three Palestinian gunmen shot at an Israeli border police base in the occupied West Bank on Friday, drawing Israeli fire that killed two of the Palestinians and critically wounded the third, border police said.
There were no reports of Israeli injuries in the incident at the Salem base, near the West Bank-Israel border by the northern Palestinian city of Jenin.
Border police said in a statement that the three Palestinians “fired at the base’s gate, (and) border police officers and an (Israeli military) soldier responded by firing and neutralising” them.
Three guns, three knives and bullets were seized at the scene, the statement said. The injured Palestinian was evacuated to a hospital in Afula, in northern Israel, the statement added.
There has been a recent increase in violence and tension in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and that Palestinians seek for a state.
On Wednesday, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian teenager during clashes near the Palestinian city of Nablus and an Israeli teen who had been shot earlier in the week by an alleged Palestinian gunman died of his injuries.
In East Jerusalem, there is mounting tension ahead of Jerusalem Day on Monday, Israel’s annual commemoration of its capture of East Jerusalem, which falls this year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli-Palestinian clashes have broken out nightly ahead of a Monday court hearing that could see Palestinian families evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood where Jewish settlers backed by an Israeli court have taken over some homes.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police also broke out in April near the Old City’s famous Damascus Gate over a dispute over Ramadan access to the gate’s ampitheatre-style square.
(Reporting by Raneen Sawafta in Jenin, Rami Ayyub and Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Editing by Frances Kerry)