Home Worldwide news Israeli fatally stabbed by Palestinian in West Bank

Israeli fatally stabbed by Palestinian in West Bank

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Israeli forensic police and soldiers inspect the place where the Israeli man was stabbed (AFP)

A Palestinian has fatally stabbed an Israeli man near the entrance to a shopping centre in the occupied West Bank before being shot by a civilian, officials have said.

No details were immediately provided on the identity of the Israeli, whose death was confirmed on Sunday in a statement from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek medical centre.

Official Palestinian news agency WAFA described the attacker as a “young man” from the West Bank village of Yatta, who it said had not been severely wounded.

The incident took place at the Gush Etzion Junction south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, according to Israel’s military, which provided the details of the stabbing.

Video footage shared on social media purportedly showed the assailant approaching an older man, who Israeli media reported was 40, near the shopping centre’s entrance and stabbing him.

He is then seen pursued by civilians and shot nearby.

There is regular friction between Israelis and Palestinians at the junction, which lies near a major Israeli settlement bloc and has been the site of numerous attacks.

A wave of Palestinian knife attacks against Israelis broke out in 2015, but they have since become sporadic.

On 3 September, a Palestinian with a knife approached an Israeli military checkpoint near the hardline Kiryat Arba settlement in the Hebron area and was shot dead by soldiers, according to the army.

There are concerns that tensions between Israelis and Palestinians will increase this month as Jews celebrate their high holidays and pay more visits to holy sites.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Meanwhile, tensions have also been high over scores of deaths during protests near the fence separating Gaza from Israel.

Late on Saturday, Saheeb Abu Kashef, a teenager who was shot by Israeli forces last month east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, died of his injuries.

At least 180 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since Palestinians began protesting every Friday on 30 March as part of the Great March of Return.

The protest campaign calls for an end to the 11-year Israeli blockade on Gaza and for Palestinian refugees’ right of return to the lands that their families fled during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

Israel accuses Hamas, the movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of seeking to use the protests to carry out attacks or infiltrations.

It says its actions are necessary to defend the border.

Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.

Israel maintains a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished strip’s two million residents.

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