Two Palestinian teens killed by Israeli gunfire in West Bank, Palestinian officials say

By Ali Sawafta

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said on Sunday.

The Israeli military did not confirm the deaths but said two suspects hurled explosives towards a local community, endangering civilians, and troops responded with live fire.

"Hits were identified," the military said in a statement.

The Palestinian health ministry said a 16- and a 17-year-old were killed west of Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian media said medicals teams were prevented from reaching one of the wounded and the other succumbed to his wounds on Sunday in a hospital in Jerusalem. One teen was shot in the head and the other in his chest, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The occupied West Bank, which Palestinians want as the core of a future independent state along with Gaza, has seen a surge in violence since the start of the war in Gaza last year, and a major crackdown by Israeli security forces which have made thousands of arrests.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Emily Rose; Editing by Hugh Lawson)