JERUSALEM // A Jewish settler woman was stabbed and wounded on a roadside in the occupied West Bank in what Israeli police said today was an attack by a Palestinian militant. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the assault late last night near the city of Bethlehem and a settlement bloc known as Gush Etzion, which occurred after a mosque was vandalised elsewhere in the West Bank.
"A 20-year-old woman was approached and stabbed in the back," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding that the suspected perpetrator, a Palestinian, had not been apprehended. Separately Israeli troops arrested three Palestinians suspected of involvement with militant groups in a routine raid in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek for a state. The incidents occurred hours after a Palestinian man was killed in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in a cross-border exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers.
Earlier, Palestinians said a gang of Jewish settlers had set ablaze carpets and copies of the Koran in a mosque near Nablus on Thursday, and scrawled graffiti calling the act "the price-tag". Israeli leaders and the military have condemned the attack. Israel's Haaretz newspaper said today five Jewish settlers had been questioned by security agents in the past few months as suspects in vandal attacks in the West Bank, but there were no reported arrests.