Friday 21 October 2016

Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier

Published 17/09/2016 | 07:41

Israeli police officers on horseback stand guard near the scene of an attack at the Damascus gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday (AP)
Israeli police officers on horseback stand guard near the scene of an attack at the Damascus gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday (AP)

Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian who stabbed a soldier in the West Bank, the military said.

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The incident comes a day after Palestinians carried out several assaults.

The assaults were the latest violence in a year of Palestinian attacks that at times have been near-daily occurrences but have recently been on the decline.

On Saturday, the military said a Palestinian pulled out a knife during a security check in the West Bank city of Hebron and stabbed a soldier, prompting forces to open fire and kill the attacker.

A day earlier Israeli authorities said there were several Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, police and a soldier

In the first Friday attack, a man came out of Jerusalem's walled Old City brandishing a knife in each hand, police said.

He then waved the knives in the air and shouted "Allahu akbar" - or "God is great" in Arabic - as he rushed at the officers, who opened fire and killed him. The man had both a Jordanian and a Palestinian ID on him, police said.

Shortly afterwards, two Palestinians rammed their car into a bus stop, wounding three Israeli civilians near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. Forces at the scene opened fire, killing one of the Palestinians and wounding the other.

A few hours later, at a junction near Hebron, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier who opened fire and killed him, the military said.

The year-long wave of Palestinian assaults on Israeli civilians and security forces has killed 34 Israelis and two Americans - mostly in stabbings, shootings and attacks involving vehicles.

About 214 Palestinians have been killed during that same time. Israel says the majority of them were attackers.

Israeli and Palestinian rights groups say the military has at times used excessive force to subdue attackers.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, condemned Israel for the "extrajudicial killings" of the attackers but did not condemn the attacks themselves.

"Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and wilful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions," Ashrawi said. "We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively before it is too late."

Israel blames the violence on a campaign of incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify attackers as heroes and encourage more attacks.

Following Saturday's incident the military said the attacks in recent days "are just another example of the danger of Palestinian incitement spread through social media".

Palestinians say the violence is rooted in decades of living under military rule and fading hopes for independence.


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