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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron

The military said the incident occurred near the Ibrahimi Mosque

Members of the Israeli security forces surround the body of a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank town of Hebron on October 22, 2018. AFP
Members of the Israeli security forces surround the body of a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank town of Hebron on October 22, 2018. AFP

A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier and was shot dead by the wounded man and other troops in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Monday, the Israeli military said.

The military said the incident occurred near the biblical Cave of the Patriarchs, revered by Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque, in the city of Hebron.

The soldier was slightly wounded in the attack and, along with other soldiers, fired at the assailant killing him, according to a military statement.

Palestinian media identified the attacker as 42-year-old Mohammed Arif Al Atrash from Hebron.

On Monday, another Palestinian tried to attack a soldier with scissors before being shot and wounded by Israeli forces.

Palestinians began a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks in the West Bank and in Israel in 2015, after peace talks with Israel collapsed. Such incidents have become less frequent. Hebron has served as a prominent area for such stabbings. Israel's occupation of the West Bank is no more present than in the West Bank city where a network of checkpoints restricts Palestinian movement and Israeli settlers live on top of Arab residents.

Several hundred far-right, nationalist Jewish settlers live in the city alongside tens of thousands of Palestinians. They are protected by several thousand Israeli soldiers.

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Earlier this month, the Israeli government approved plans to expand a Jewish settlement in the city. It sanctioned $6.1 million to finance the building of new housing.

The city houses a site revered by both Muslims and Jews, known as the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslims and the Cave of the Patriarchs to Jews. It was the site of a massacre carried out by American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein in 1994. He entered the mosque, shooting and killing 29 Palestinians.

Unesco, the United Nations cultural organisation, declared the core of Hebron, including the holy site, to be a Palestinian World Heritage site in July last year.

Palestinians want the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, to be part of an independent state along with the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.