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Palestinian shot dead after reported stab attempt on soldiers near Beit El

Feb. 26, 2016 5:22 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2016 10:08 A.M.)
Scene of a shooting attack near the illegal Beit El settlement on Jan. 31, 2016. (Photo from social media)
BETHELEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian was shot dead Friday after reportedly attempting to stab Israeli soldiers stationed near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an: “A Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab soldiers stationed at a security crossing.” Forces on site then “thwarted the attack,” opening fire and killing the Palestinian, the spokesperson said.

The death was confirmed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, which identified the Palestinian as Mahmoud Muhammad Ali Shaalan, 17, from the village of Deir Dibwan east of Ramallah.

No Israelis were injured in the incident.

The incident comes shortly after an Israeli security guard was stabbed several times and critically injured inside of the illegal Maale Adumim settlement overnight Thursday by a Palestinian who reportedly fled the scene.

Hours before, a 5-year-old Palestinian was killed when an Israeli ordnance exploded in the Gaza Strip, left behind from Israel’s 2014 offensive.

Israeli military forces regularly stationed at the illegal Beit El settlement nearby where Friday’s reported attack took place has been site to a number of violent confrontations in recent months.

The Israeli military sealed Ramallah last month after a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces shot and injured three Israeli soldiers at a Beit El military checkpoint before being shot dead.

The West Bank hub was then sealed for two straight days, blocking entry and exit to thousands of Palestinians in a move locals said was collective punishment.

Unrest in the occupied Palestinian territory has been ongoing since October, marked by a wave of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinians, the majority directed at Israeli military targets.

Recent violence has left at least 180 Palestinians and more than 25 Israelis dead.

Amnesty International in a report released this week said a number of Palestinians killed when the unrest began were killed “unlawfully.”

The rights group said that many deaths resulted when Israeli police and military forces fatally shot Palestinians who carried out attacks -- or were suspected of intending attacks -- in “circumstances where they were not posing an imminent threat to life and could have been apprehended.”
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