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Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged knife attack in Gush Etzion

Dec. 1, 2015 9:39 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 1, 2015 9:51 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian teenage boy was shot dead by Israeli forces in the illegal settlement bloc of Gush Etzion on Tuesday morning after he allegedly attempted to attack a settler with a knife, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that Israeli forces shot and killed the boy when he "attempted to attack a pedestrian" using a knife at a main road junction in the settlement bloc, which sprawls across the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem.

The Palestinian was identified as 16-year-old Mamoun al-Khatib from the village of Doha in Bethlehem district.

He did not wound any Israelis before he was shot dead, the Israeli army spokesperson said. She said that one Israeli bystander was lightly wounded by a ricocheting bullet fired by Israeli forces.

The Gush Etzion junction has been the site of several deadly encounters since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October.

At least five Palestinians have now been shot dead there after allegedly attempting to carry out attacks, while two Israelis and one Palestinian bystander were killed in a shooting last month, with the shooters later arrested.

After a third Israeli, a 21-year-old woman, was stabbed to death there last week, Israel barred Palestinians from entering the individual settlements that constitute the Gush Etzion bloc, which is home to more than 90,000 settlers.

An estimated 2,000 Palestinians work in the settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of October -- many shot dead under circumstances in which rights groups said that Israeli forces used unnecessary force -- while 19 Israelis have been killed in the same period.
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