Tension rose sharply in Gaza on Monday, April 3. Palestinian fighters fired missiles at an Israeli warplane that shot down a drone and the Israeli army killed two Palestinian members of an armed group in the occupied West Bank. The violence comes after a weekend of deadly incidents, which ended several days of calm since the start of Ramadan ten days ago.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health thus reported the death of two “martyrs”, killed by bullets from the “occupation” (Israel) in Nablus, in the north of the territory occupied by Israel since 1967. This is of Mohammed Abu Bakr and Mohammed al-Said al-Hallaq, whose ages have not been specified. Both belonged to the “Lions Den”, said this armed movement that emerged in Nablus in 2022.

“We affirm that there is no other path to liberation than resistance and armed struggle,” the group said in a statement.

The Israeli army said it carried out an “anti-terrorist” operation in Nablus, during which two people suspected of having helped the perpetrator of an attack in March were arrested. “During the operation, gunmen fired at the soldiers, who responded by opening fire” and hitting some, a military statement said.

Many armed men and thousands of people attended the funeral of the two men killed in the early afternoon in Nablus, noted journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The Israeli army is concentrating its incursions in the northern West Bank, a stronghold of Palestinian armed groups. On March 12, three Lions’ Den fighters were also killed by Israeli forces in Nablus.

In the Gaza Strip, the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas, in power in this coastal microterritory, said that one of its drones had been shot down by Israeli forces during training and had “immediately responded by firing missiles ground-to-air towards the “Israeli” aircraft.

The Israeli army claimed that one of its fighter jets had “intercepted an unidentified aircraft over the Gaza Strip”, territory under Israeli blockade since the Hamas takeover in 2007. It confirmed to the AFP that missiles had been fired at his plane, but without causing damage or casualties, according to a military spokesman.

This sudden access of tension comes after a relative calm in the micro-territory of 2.3 million inhabitants, tested by wars and poverty.

Since early January, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of at least 91 Palestinians, 15 Israelis and one Ukrainian, according to an AFP tally compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources. These figures include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, including minors, and on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, including minors, and two members of the Arab minority.

On Saturday, three Israelis were injured in a vehicular attack in the West Bank. The alleged perpetrator was killed by soldiers. Less than 24 hours earlier, Israeli police shot and killed a Bedouin youth from southern Israel who they said grabbed a policeman’s gun and fired it in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City and annexed by Israel. His family disputes this version of the facts.

In recent weeks, several foreign chancelleries have expressed concern about possible violence as Christian and Jewish Easter falls this year during Ramadan.