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Palestinian shot dead after Israeli soldier stabbed at Gush Etzion

Jan. 5, 2016 10:08 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2016 7:51 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An 18-year-old Palestinian was shot dead after he reportedly stabbed an Israeli soldier south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, Israel's army said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an that an assailant stabbed and lightly wounded a soldier stationed at the Gush Etzion junction.

"Israeli forces responded to the attack and shot the assailant, resulting in his death," she said, adding that the soldier had been evacuated for medical treatment.

Palestinian security sources later identified the Palestinian as Ahmad Younis Kawazba, 18, from the town of Sair north of Hebron.

Despite initial reports his body had been returned, the sources confirmed that it was still being held by the Israeli authorities.

Kawazba is the sixth resident of Sair to be shot dead by Israeli forces since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October.

The Gush Etzion junction -- the entrance point to the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc -- has seen several deadly encounters in that period, with more than 10 reported attacks that have resulted in at least six Palestinian and three Israeli deaths.

At least 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of October across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

While Israel alleges many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

The attacks that have taken place -- claiming the lives of more than 20 Israelis -- have been accompanied by a wave of popular unrest that has swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

Rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israeli forces for the unnecessary use of lethal force against Palestinians who did not pose an imminent threat at the time of their death.

Ahmad Younis Kawazba, 18, from the town of Sair north of Hebron.
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