Israeli security forces said they shot dead two Palestinian assailants yesterday in separate incidents in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, as 12 weeks of heightened violence showed no sign of abating.
Since the start of October, Israeli forces or armed civilians have killed at least 128 Palestinians, 79 of whom authorities described as assailants. Most others have been killed in clashes with security forces.
Almost daily Palestinian stabbing, car-rammings and shooting attacks have killed 20 Israelis and a US citizen, raising fears of a wider escalation a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided.
In the latest fatal incident, the Israeli military said a Palestinian rammed his car into Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint. “Forces responded to the imminent danger and fired towards the perpetrator,” the military said, adding that one soldier had been wounded and evacuated to hospital.
The 56-year-old Palestinian man died after being taken to hospital, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The Palestinians disputed the Israeli military’s account of the incident. Jamil Dawoud, 49, said he was travelling in the car behind the one of the man shot, at the checkpoint where soldiers were inspecting the vehicles and that the soldier who opened fire appeared to misunderstand what had happened.
Hours earlier police officers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab a policeman near Jerusalem’s walled Old City.
Officers approached a man they said was following Jewish worshippers, spokeswoman Luba Samri said, and asked to see his identification papers. “The terrorist whipped out a knife and tried to stab a police officer. He was swiftly shot and neutralised,” Samri said.
The incident was captured on security camera footage.
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