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Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack

Aug. 9, 2015 8:50 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2015 12:41 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem on June 29, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Sunday shot dead a Palestinian man after he allegedly took part in a stabbing attack that left an Israeli civilian lightly injured in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that "a group of Palestinian assailants" attacked and lightly injured the Israeli near Ofer checkpoint on Route 443, southwest of Ramallah.

Israeli news site Ynet reported that the 26-year-old Israeli was filling his car at a gas station when the attack took place.

The army spokeswoman said that Israeli soldiers then opened fire on the Palestinian "suspects."

She had no immediate information on whether warning shots were fired, but said that Israeli forces opened fire "to prevent the suspect from escaping."

She confirmed that one of the Palestinians died of his wounds.

The Israeli, who was wounded in the shoulder, was evacuated to hospital for treatment, she said.

It was not confirmed whether the Israeli was a settler living in the occupied West Bank.

The highway, Route 443, is reportedly used by many Israelis as a major artery between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, despite cutting through the occupied West Bank for several kilometers.

The Israeli army later said they believed that three more Palestinians were involved in the attack, and soldiers were searching the area.

The Palestinian man's death brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces across the occupied Palestinian territories to at least 23 since the beginning of the year, according to UN figures.

The UN reported that in the same period, Israeli forces also injured 1,149 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and 52 in the Gaza Strip.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank in recent days following a spate of Palestinian deaths at the hands of both Israeli soldiers and settlers.

An arson attack carried out by Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank village of Duma on July 31 killed an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler.

On Saturday, the toddler's father succumbed to the severe burns he sustained during the attack, while his wife and four-year-old son remained in critical condition, with third-degree burns covering most of their bodies.

Later on July 31, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers.

Laith al-Khaldi, 17, was shot dead during clashes that broke out following the arson attack, while another 17-year-old, Mohammad Hamid al-Masri, was shot and killed in the northern Gaza Strip.

AFP contributed to this report.
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