Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

West Bank shooting at settlement wounds three Israelis

The attack took place at the entrance of the Ariel settlement

Members of Israeli security forces gather at the site of an attack near the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank. AFP
Members of Israeli security forces gather at the site of an attack near the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank. AFP

An Israeli was killed on Sunday in stabbing and shooting attacks believed to have been carried out by a Palestinian assailant at the entrance of an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Eli Bin, the head of Israeli ambulance service Magen David Adom, said Sunday's attacks were at the entrance to the Ariel settlement, south-west of the Palestinian city of Nablus. The Israeli military said two attacks took place one after the other and it was pursuing the assailants.

The incident began when a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier at an intersection near the Jewish settlement of Ariel and grabbed his assault rifle, the spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, said on a conference call with journalists.

The assailant used the weapon to fire at three vehicles, hitting a civilian and then hijacking a car, which he drove to another junction nearby where he shot a second soldier before continuing on to a nearby Palestinian village.

Medics said they evacuated two Israeli men, aged 16 and 20, to hospital with both suffering bullet wounds and in serious condition.

The attacks come at a sensitive time ahead of Israel's April 9 elections, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to apprehend those behind it.

Hamas, the movement that runs the Gaza Strip, welcomed the attack, but did not claim responsibility for it.

Hamas called it a response to Israeli "crimes," including its actions at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the highly sensitive holy site where there have been scuffles in recent weeks.

The compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem is the third-holiest site in Islam and a focus of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire last week in separate West Bank incidents after a period of relative calm.

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed over 50 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that same period.

Many attacks take place in or around Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. Palestinians view the

Israel has described most of the Palestinians killed as attackers, but clashes between protesters and soldiers have also turned deadly.

Updated: March 17, 2019 04:22 PM

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