Third Palestinian shot dead in one day following alleged attack in Gush Etzion

Published November 22nd, 2015 - 03:14 GMT

A Palestinian youth was shot dead after a stabbing attack on a 20-year-old Israeli woman near the illegal Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion, the Israeli liaison office said, in the third alleged stabbing attack on Sunday.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a "Palestinian stabbed a civilian" at the Gush Etzion junction, and "forces on site responded to the imminent threat and shot the attacker resulting in his death."

The spokesperson said the stab victim was evacuated for emergency care, without adding further details.

A spokesperson for Magen David Adom emergency medical service said the stab victim was a 20-year-old woman who is "currently in severe condition."

A Ma'an journalist, who was present in the area, said he witnessed dozens of Israeli soldiers rushing to the hitchhike station at the Gush Etzion junction, firing gunshots.

The soldiers then shut down the main bypass road known as route 60.

Earlier on Sunday, a Palestinian was shot and killed near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim in the central occupied West Bank after a Palestinian, driving a taxi, ran into another car on a main road, an Israeli police spokesperson said.

Micky Rosenfeld said after the car incident, a Palestinian in a Palestinian taxi "walked out his vehicle with a knife in his hand and was shot dead."

Less than an hour before the second incident, a prominent Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian girl, 16, before shooting her dead, after the settler suspected the teen was about to carry out a stabbing attack at Huwarra checkpoint, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israeli media reported.

The teenager has been identified as Ashraqat Taha Ahmad Qatanani from Nablus, the Palestinian military liaison office reported, after officially notifying the victim's family of their daughter's death.

Israeli news site Ynet identified the man who ran over and shot Qatanani as the former head of the "Samaria regional council," Gershon Mesika, a leader within the settler community.

After running the girl over with his car, landing in a ditch, Mesika reportedly got out of his car and began opening fire, alongside Israeli forces who also opened fire, Israeli media reported.

No Israelis were reported as injured in the first two alleged attacks.

More than 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of October -- many shot dead under circumstances in which rights groups said that Israeli forces used unnecessary force -- while at least 16 Israelis have been killed in the same period.

The Gush Etzion junction in particular has been the site of many alleged, attempted and actual attacks on Israelis since the start of October, including a shooting attack on Thursday that resulted in the death of two Israelis and the injury of 10 others.

In response, Israeli officials on Thursday agreed to increase security measures in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, including increased restrictions on the movement of Palestinians.

Israeli news site Ynet reported Friday that the measures could include the temporary restriction of movement of Palestinians in the area, the deployment of extra Israeli security forces, and the construction of a "fence" along certain roads.

The measures come after a meeting between the Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli army's chief of staff, and the mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, an administrative body for illegal settlements in the area.

The regional council also urged settlers who own firearms to voluntarily accompany children on school buses to assist as first responders after attacks.


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