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Young Palestinian killed in Hebron after alleged stab attack

March 19, 2016 9:29 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2016 7:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli forces near an illegal settlement in the southern occupied West Bank on Saturday after he allegedly stabbed a soldier, Israeli security sources said.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said Israeli border police at Abu al-Rish checkpoint near the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of Hebron noticed a “suspicious” young Palestinian. When asked to show his identity card, the Palestinian “pulled out a knife” and stabbed a soldier, lightly injuring him in the head, al-Samri added.

Other soldiers fired at the youth, killing him.

The victim's brother told Ma'an the young Palestinian was 18-year-old Abdullah Muhammad al-Ajlouni from Hebron.

Witnesses told Ma’an that the soldiers "showered" al-Ajlouni with bullets, adding that Israeli forces had closed all entrances to the Ibrahimi mosque in the old city of Hebron following the attack.

Shortly after the killing, Israeli forces closed down several roads in Hebron. Locals told Ma'an Israeli forces closed an iron gate at the entrance of al-Fahs road in southern Hebron, as well as another gate at the entrance of Farsh al-Hawa neighborhood in the western part of the city. A major road on the eastern outskirts of Hebron was also shut off with earth mounds.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that "a few" roads had been blocked in Hebron.

According to Ma'an reports, at least 201 Palestinian to 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. Almost 30 Israelis have been killed during the same time period.

The settlement of Kiryat Arba has been the scene of several recent alleged attacks. On Monday, three Palestinians, including an 18-year-old, were killed in short succession at a bus station outside of Kiryat Arba after two of them opened fire on soldiers and another allegedly carried out a "ram attack" with his vehicle.

US and Israeli officials have criticized Palestinian leadership for failing to condemn a number of attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals -- the majority of which have been carried out on military targets -- while critics say Israel has practiced a policy of extrajudicial executions of Palestinians.

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the wave of attacks, but said that Israeli security measures were failing to "address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians -- especially young people."

He added: "As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism."
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