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2 Palestinians shot dead after stabbing near Ariel settlement

March 17, 2016 11:31 A.M. (Updated: March 18, 2016 12:11 P.M.)
Recent weeks have seen a number of deadly encounters in Israel's illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were shot dead on Thursday after a stab attack left an Israeli soldier injured near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an.

Director of the Palestinian Ambulance and Emergencies Department Munther Nazzal told Ma'an that armed Israeli forces prevented Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics from approaching the site and forced them to turn back.

Witnesses told Ma'an that the two Palestinians were shot "dozens" of times.

A spokesperson with Israel's emergency medical service said the Israeli woman was in her 20s and was evacuated to a nearby hospital in "moderate to severe condition." The Israeli army later confirmed the woman was a soldier.

The Palestinians were identified as Ali Jamal Muhammad Taqatqa, 19, and Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Kar Thawabta, 20, both from the village of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem, according to the village mayor.

The mayor told Ma'an that Beit Fajjar had been closed off by military forces following the attack.

On Monday, three Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces after they allegedly carried out two consecutive attacks near an illegal Israeli settlement in the southern occupied West Bank in which four Israeli soldiers were injured.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an at the time that Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians after they opened fire at Israelis waiting at a bus stop near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron.

Shortly afterwards, a car ran into a military vehicle in a “ram attack,” and Israeli soldiers shot and killed the driver.

Nearly 200 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed since violence increased in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October, with a wave of small-scale attacks and attempted attacks, the majority carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military targets.

Photos of Ali Jamal Muhammad Taqatqa, 19, and Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Kar Thawabta, 20, taken from social media.
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