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Home World News Washington Post World News Israeli army shoots Palestinian during West Bank crossing

Israeli army shoots Palestinian during West Bank crossing

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JERUSALEM – A Palestinian man died after being shot by Israeli forces trying to cross the security fence at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, hours after Israeli authorities detained two Palestinians who killed three people in an attack last week.

The Israeli army said soldiers “saw a suspect illegally attempting to cross the security fence” near the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem and fired at him. It said the man was being evacuated for medical treatment but declined to comment on the man’s condition. The Palestinian health ministry has confirmed the man’s death.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian man allegedly stabbed an Israeli police officer outside Jerusalem’s Old City. Police said the man with the knife stabbed the policeman and other officers on the scene at Damascus Gate shot the attacker.

Ambulance staff said the officer was hospitalized in a moderate condition. The attacker’s condition was not immediately clear.

Sunday’s incidents were the latest in a series of violent episodes in recent weeks, including deadly attacks in Israel, an Israeli military crackdown in the West Bank and clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians at a large holy site in Jerusalem that is sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli police said troops captured two Palestinians who killed three people in a stabbing last week and fled, sparking a massive manhunt and putting the country on edge.

The two attackers rioted in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad on Israel’s Independence Day on Thursday, killing three and injuring at least four others before fleeing.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told his cabinet that troops have captured “terrorists overrun with incitement who have killed with axes and unimaginable brutality”.

He said Israel was entering a “new phase in the war on terror” and said Israel was setting up a civilian national guard that would be deployed in emergencies like the kind of attacks the country has seen in recent weeks.

“The main goal of the Israeli government is to restore the personal safety of Israeli citizens,” he said.

A joint statement by the police, the military and Shin Bet’s internal security service said the men, identified as 19- and 20-year-old Palestinians, were caught near a quarry not far from Elad after a search began Thursday by special forces and commando units with helicopters and other means.

Footage in Israeli media showed masked security forces confronting the men, who appeared to be under a green bush in a rugged patch of land.

As troops searched the area for the men, police called on the public to avoid the area and urged Israelis to report suspicious vehicles or people to them.

Police said the attackers came from near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which has re-emerged as a militant bastion in the latest wave of violence — the worst Israel has seen in years. Some of the attackers in the recent violence are from Jenin.

The Israeli army said it was beginning preparations to demolish the homes of the two suspects in the village of Rummanah. Israel says its policy of demolishing homes of Palestinians who kill Israelis serves to deter would-be attackers, while human rights groups say it amounts to collective punishment.

At least 18 Israelis have been killed in five attacks since March, including another stabbing in southern Israel, two shootings in the Tel Aviv region and a shooting last weekend in a West Bank settlement.

Nearly 30 Palestinians have been killed in violence, most of whom have committed attacks or were involved in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank. But an unarmed woman and two apparent bystanders were also among the dead, and human rights groups say Israel often uses excessive force.

The violence has been fueled by tensions on a hilltop in Jerusalem sacred to both Muslims and Jews, where Palestinians recently clashed with Israeli police.

The complex of Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and is built on a hilltop that is the holiest site for Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. It is the emotional heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



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