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18-year-old Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli soldier in Hebron

Feb. 13, 2016 1:35 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2016 3:54 P.M.)
Israeli forces clean the pavement at the site where a Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing a border policeman on April 25, 2015 near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- A young Palestinian woman was shot dead on Saturday after stabbing an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian bystander near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

A witness told Ma’an that the young woman stabbed and lightly injured a soldier at a checkpoint near the mosque before she was shot by Israeli forces stationed on site.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the attack to Ma’an, saying that “an assailant drew a knife on a soldier guarding the Tomb of Patriarchs,” referring to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

A Palestinian at the site of the attack was also stabbed by the young woman under circumstances that remain unclear.

A witness told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to grab the young woman after she stabbed the soldier, in what the witness believed to be an attempt to protect the woman from getting shot.

The woman then stabbed the man in the waist after he grabbed her, the witnesses said, adding that he believed the young woman may have mistaken the man for an Israeli settler.

The Israeli army for their part said: “During an attempt to stab the soldier, the attacker stabbed a Palestinian who tried to intervene,” confirming that the soldier had been lightly wounded.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the Palestinian killed as Kilzar Muhammad Abd al-Halim Azmi al-Uweiwi, from Hebron city. Relatives told Ma'an the teen was 18 years old. Her body was handed over by the Israeli authorities hours after she was killed.

The injured bystander was identified as 52-year-old Abed al-Rajabi, who was transferred to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment.

Witnesses said the area was closed by Israeli forces following the suspected attack.

#استشهاد فتاة فلسطينية قرب الحرم الإبراهيمي في #الخليل بعد تنفيذها عملية طعن أصيب فيها جندي "اسرائيلي" بجراح

Posted by Orient Bethlehem 98.7FM on Saturday, February 13, 2016
Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

The unrest has been marked by a surge of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals -- predominantly on Israeli military targets -- which have left over 25 Israelis dead.

The majority of Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks have been shot dead on site, but investigations by rights groups have reported that a number of Palestinians killed did not pose sufficient threat for the use of lethal force at the time of their death.

The Hebron area in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval during the months of November and December, and over 40 Palestinians have been killed in the district since recent unrest began, during attacks and clashes.

The checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque where Saturday's stabbing took place is located in Hebron's Old City, which has been designated as a "closed military zone" by the Israeli army since November.

Palestinian residents of the area have had to register under a number system in order to pass through the Old City's nearly 20 military checkpoints, and locals have reported heavier restrictions imposed by the army that Israeli rights group B'Tselem has referred to as "draconian measures."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month said that it was “human nature” for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s decades-long military occupation, and urged change in Israel’s policies in the occupied area.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response said that Ban Ki-moon’s remarks “encouraged terror.”

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