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2 Palestinians killed after stabbing Israeli soldier in Huwwara

Dec. 27, 2015 2:28 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 28, 2015 1:41 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Two Palestinians were shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the village of Huwwara south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, locals and Israel’s army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that two Palestinians stabbed and wounded a soldier before Israeli forces on site opened fire, resulting in the death of both attackers.

The spokesperson said that initial reports suggested that an additional soldier was injured as a result of fire directed towards the attackers.

One Israeli soldier received stab wounds to the face, while the other was injured by a gunshot wound to the leg, according to Israeli media. Both soldiers were evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment.

Locals identified the Palestinians as Muhammad Rafiq Hussien Sabana,17, and Noor al-Deen Muhammad Abdul-Qadir Sabana, 23.

The Huwwara area -- particularly the military checkpoint next to the village -- has been site to frequent confrontation between local Palestinians and Israeli military and settlers in recent months.

Israeli forces on Sunday shot dead 56-year-old Maher al-Jabi at the Huwwara military checkpoint after he ran his vehicle into soldiers, lightly injuring one.

Last week, the forces shot and killed a 15-year-old from the Nablus-area village of Beit Furik after he reportedly drew a knife on soldiers at the checkpoint.

Weeks before, two 16-year-old Palestinians were shot dead at the checkpoint, one of whom was run over and shot by prominent Israeli settler Gershon Mesika after he said she was attempting to carry out an attack.

No Israelis were injured in any of the incidents.

Such incidents have become near-daily since Oct. 1, with 12 Palestinians and 2 Israelis killed in the last week alone.

Two Palestinians killed in the last week were shot dead during clashes with Israeli military forces, while the rest were killed by forces during attacks on Israeli military and civilians.

While the majority of recent attacks have been carried out without the organization of political factions, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has not publicly condemned the recent attacks or upsurge in demonstrations.

Israeli authorities meanwhile have launched a crackdown in response to the escalation, promoting a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians as well as a series of harsh measures throughout the occupied territory that rights groups have termed collective punishment.

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