Israelis Shoot Dead Three Palestinian ‘Knife Attackers’ Including A 16-Year-Old Boy

Israelis shot dead three Palestinian ‘knife attackers’ in Jerusalem and Hebron today, including a 16-year-old boy.

Israeli police spokesman Luba Samri said officers shot and killed the teenager in Jerusalem after he tried to stab them when they stopped to ask him for identification.

The incident took place close to where two Palestinian men boarded a bus earlier this week and began shooting and stabbing passengers, killing two people.

Elsewhere on Saturday, an Israeli pedestrian shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab him in the West Bank city of Hebron, a frequent flashpoint where a few hundred Jewish settlers live in close proximity to tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The military said the Palestinian was shot dead before he could harm the man.

Later, police said a Palestinian woman stabbed a female officer at a border police base in Hebron before the officer shot her dead. The officer’s hand was ‘lightly wounded’.

And this evening, a Palestinian was shot after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the city, the army said.

‘A Palestinian assailant stabbed an IDF (army) soldier in Hebron,’ a statement read. ‘The soldier was moderately wounded… The attacker was shot on site.’

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, where there have been deadly clashes with Israeli troops in recent days, army gunfire wounded at least four civilians, according to the enclaves health minister Ashraf al-Qudra.

Over the past month, eight Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks – most of them stabbings.

In that time, 39 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 18 labelled as attackers, and the rest in clashes with Israeli troops.

Most of the attacks on Israelis have been carried out by Palestinians with no known ties to militant groups.

The violence erupted a month ago over the Jewish New Year.

It was fueled by rumours that Israel was plotting to take over Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s third-holiest shrine and a key national symbol for the Palestinians.

Israel has adamantly denied the allegations, saying it has no plans to change the status quo at the site, where Jews are allowed to visit but not pray.

The Palestinian fears have been fueled by a growing number of Jews visiting the compound in recent months, especially during holidays, with the encouragement of Jewish activists groups and senior government officials.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has at times tried to calm the situation by saying violence is not in the Palestinians’ interest and behind the scenes has ordered his security forces to reduce frictions.

But Israel accuses him of incitement, saying he has not condemned attacks on Israelis and falsely accused Israel of having ‘summarily executed’ a Palestinian boy who stabbed an Israeli youngster.

The Palestinian teen is recovering in hospital.

Israel has taken unprecedented steps in response to the attacks. It has deployed soldiers in its cities and put up concrete barriers outside some Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, where most of the attackers came from.

Ordinary citizens have also increasingly taken up arms to protect themselves.

Today, the roadblocks on the outskirts of Arab neighborhoods caused massive traffic jams, with some frustrated motorists saying they had been waiting for several hours.

On the edge of the Issawiyeh neighborhood, drivers honked their horns at a group of Israeli police and paramilitary border officers who were taking their time checking each car and asking some of the younger Palestinians to lift up their shirts to show they were not armed.

At one point, tensions rose palpably and the officers, in riot gear, moved a few feet into the crowd. One of the officers threw a stun grenade into the line of waiting cars.

Palestinians said they felt the roadblocks were intended as collective punishment and would be ineffective in deterring attackers.

Anyone with bad intentions would not pass through a checkpoint and instead try to reach Jewish neighborhoods through dirt roads, they said.

Yesterday, Palestinian assailants firebombed a West Bank site revered by Jews as the tomb of the biblical figure Joseph.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack, saying extremists were trying to make the current conflict a religious one.

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