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Israel arrests 40 Palestinians after West Bank attack - army

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied for more than 50 years, saw the third Palestinian shooting in two months Thursday, with an attacker killing two Israeli soldiers near a Jewish settlement before fleeing the scene.

Israeli forces and forensic experts inspect the site of a Palestinian drive-by shooting attack outside the West Bank settlement of Givat Asaf, northeast of Ramallah, on 13 December 2018. Picture: AFP

JERUSALEM - Israeli forces arrested 40 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight during a manhunt for the perpetrator of a deadly attack, the army said on Friday.

The West Bank, which Israel has occupied for more than 50 years, saw the third Palestinian shooting in two months Thursday, with an attacker killing two Israeli soldiers near a Jewish settlement before fleeing the scene.

The army announced reinforcements after the attack and carried out raids in the nearby city of Ramallah, where Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is based, and other places.

"Forces apprehended 40 suspects wanted for their involvement in terror activities, popular terror and violent riots targeting civilians and security forces," an army statement said.

It said 37 of them were known to be members of Hamas, the Islamist group that claimed two recent gun attacks, although not Thursday's.

The army did not announce any arrests in relations to Thursday's attack.

Around 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank , including annexed east Jerusalem, which are considered illegal by the international community.

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