Two Palestinians who tried to stab Israeli settlers shot dead

AFP , Saturday 17 Oct 2015

Palestinian protestors take cover during clashes with Israeli occupation troops near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah October 16, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli occupation soldiers and a settler shot dead two Palestinians who tried to stab Israeli settlers in separate incidents in annexed East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the army and police said.

In the first attack at just before 0600 GMT, a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli settler in the centre of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron near a an enclave where 500 settlers live under army protection surrounded.

The armed settler responded by opening fire on the Palestinian, the army said, adding that the Palestinian had tried but failed to wound the Israeli settler.

Palestinian sources identified the assailant as 18-year-old Fadel al-Kawatsmi and confirmed his death.

Minutes later in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, a second Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces when he tried to stab a soldier at a checkpoint, police said.

Police spokeswoman Louba Samri said the Palestinian, who was not immediately identified, was killed on the spot after he tried to stab the soldier in the Israeli settlement neighbourhood of Armon Hanetsiv, also known as East Talpiot.

Israeli security forces have deployed massively in Jerusalem after two weeks of deadly clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in the city and across Israel.

Nearly 40 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more were wounded in the violence so far, while seven Israelis died and dozens wounded in clashes.

The violence has sparked fears that a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising against Israeli occupation, could break out.

In the Palestinian uprisings of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, thousands were killed and many more wounded in near daily violence.

The latest incidents come a day after Palestinians called for a "Friday of revolution" against Israel.

They also follow a Thursday night arson attack on Joseph's Tomb, a shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus which many Jews believe to be the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph.

The shrine, where Muslims believe an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yussef (Joseph) Dawiqat was buried two centuries ago, is under Palestinian control.

Palestinians have been protesting for weeks against Israel's attempts to build more settlements in east Jerusalem and force out Arab residents of the city that is meant to be a capital for any future Palestinian state.

Palestinians have also been protesting repeated Israeli and illegal Jewish settler attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque and closing the Muslim holy site on a number of occasions to worshippers.

The crisis started in late July when an 18-month old toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians were severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

The settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the village of Duma near Nablus and threw Molotov cocktails inside the buildings. Dawabsha died after sustaining serious burns.

The parents of the toddler, Riham and Saad, and their other son Ahmad lost their lives after suffering serious injuries as a result of the attack.

* The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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