JERUSALEM: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian who they say tried to stab a soldier in the West Bank yesterday, in the latest such incident in more than a month of violence. Palestinian officials said he was 16 years old.
The military said the incident was the third attempted stabbing near the checkpoint between the West Bank and Israel in recent weeks. After soldiers approached two Palestinians at a gas station, one attempted to stab a soldier with a knife before the soldiers shot him, the army said. Forces treated the wounded Palestinian at the scene, the army said, but he died of his wounds. The other Palestinian was arrested. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said he was wounded in the incident.
A series of Palestinian attacks linked to tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site began in mid-September. In addition to the near-daily attacks, violent demonstrations have erupted in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, with Palestinian stone-throwers clashing with Israeli troops.
Eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings. Sixty-nine Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, including 43 who Israel says were involved in attacks or attempted attacks. Rights groups say some of the killings were unjustified because the Palestinians did not pose a threat to soldiers’ lives.
A military investigation found that the shooting death of an 18-year-old Palestinian woman by Israeli forces last month could have been avoided, Israeli media reported. The military had no immediate comment on the report. The woman was shot as she brandished a knife at a military checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron, according to the army’s account. The military investigation concluded that soldiers could have arrested her instead of shooting her to death, local media reported.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian security forces held a military salute at a funeral ceremony for two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire. One had tried to grab a soldier’s rifle in Jerusalem, and the other had tried to stab a soldier at a West Bank checkpoint, according to the Israeli military. The Palestinian Authority has been holding official funeral parades in recent weeks in order to prevent militant groups like Hamas from using such ceremonies to whip up popular support, a senior Palestinian security official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the practice. – AP