File Photo: Israeli occupation soldiers (AP)
Israeli occupation soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenage girl who allegedly tried to stab an Israeli guard at a West Bank settlement on Saturday, police said, in the third settlement attack in a week.
"A 13-year-old Palestinian girl with a knife in her hand ran toward the civilian security guard at Anatot (settlement)," a police statement said. "The guard opened fire, gravely wounding her and medics pronounced her dead shortly afterward."
Israel and the Palestinian territories have seen a wave of violence in recent months, with 23 Israelis and more than 160 Palestinians killed since October 1.
The current wave of protests by Palestinians and repression by Israeli occupation forces started in late July when 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.
Palestinian protests were also triggered by an increase in Jewish visitors to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Palestinians fear that Israel is preparing to allow Jewish prayers in the mosque, which are not currently allowed.
Settlement-building, racial discrimination, confiscation of identity cards, long queues at checkpoints, as well as daily clashes and the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque, have been Palestinians' daily routine.
The anger of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem has increased in the last three years after the Israeli authorities allowed increasing numbers of Jewish settlers to storm the Al-Aqsa mosque.
The surge in violence has been fuelled by Palestinians' frustration over Israel's 48-year occupation of land they seek for an independent state, and the expansion of settlements in those territories which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Palestinian leaders say a younger generation sees no hope for the future living under Israeli security restrictions and with a stifled economy. The latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in April 2014.
*The story has been edited by Ahram Online.