Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli troops in West Bank

Another was shot after allegedly stabbing a police officer in Jerusalem

Israeli police stand guard at the Damascus Gate in the old city of Jerusalem where a Palestinian man was shot after allegedly stabbing an officer. EPA

A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops while trying to cross the security fence near a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

Israel's military said that soldiers saw "a suspect who attempted to illegally cross the security fence” and fired at him. It said the man was taken for medical treatment but did not disclose his condition. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the man’s death.

The shooting occurred hours after Israeli authorities arrested two Palestinian suspects over the killing of three people near Tel Aviv on Thursday.

In a separate incident on Sunday, Israeli police shot a Palestinian man outside Jerusalem’s Old City after he allegedly stabbed a police officer. Police said the man was carrying a knife and was shot by other officers at the scene near the Damascus Gate.

Paramedics said the officer was taken to hospital in moderate condition. The attacker’s condition was not immediately clear.

Sunday’s incidents were the latest in a string of violent episodes in recent weeks, including deadly attacks inside Israel, an Israeli military crackdown in the West Bank, and violence between Israeli police and Palestinians at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli police said troops captured two Palestinians who killed three people in a stabbing attack in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad on Thursday, Israel’s Independence Day.

The attackers also wounded four other people before fleeing, sparking a massive manhunt.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told his Cabinet that troops captured “terrorists awash with incitement who killed with axes and unimaginable cruelty”.

Mr Bennett said Israel was entering a “new stage in the war on terror” and the country was establishing a civilian national guard for emergency situations like the attacks of recent weeks.

“The Israeli government’s main goal is to restore personal security to Israeli citizens,” he said.

A joint statement by police, the military and the Shin Bet internal security agency said the men, identified as Palestinians aged 19 and 20, were caught near a quarry not far from Elad after a search that began on Thursday by special forces and commando units using helicopters and other means.

Images in Israeli media showed masked security troops confronting the men, who appeared to be beneath a green shrub in a rugged patch of land.

As troops scoured the area looking for the men, police called on the public to avoid the area and urged Israelis to report suspicious vehicles or people to them.

Police said the attackers were from near the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, which has re-emerged as a militant bastion in the latest wave of violence — the worst Israel has seen in years. Several of the attackers in the recent violence have come from Jenin.

The Israeli military said it began preparations to demolish the homes of the two suspects in the village of Rummanah. Israel says the policy of demolishing homes of Palestinians who kill Israelis deters would-be attackers, while rights groups say it amounts to collective punishment.

At least 18 Israelis have been killed in five attacks since March, including another stabbing rampage in southern Israel, two shootings in the Tel Aviv area, and a shooting last weekend in a West Bank settlement.

Nearly 30 Palestinians have died in violence — most of whom had carried out attacks or were involved in confrontations with Israeli troops in the West Bank.

But an unarmed woman and two apparent bystanders were also among those killed and rights groups say Israel often uses excessive force.

The violence has been fuelled by tensions at Al Aqsa Mosque compound, a site that Jews also consider sacred.

Al Aqsa Mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam.

With reporting from Associated Press.

Updated: May 08, 2022, 6:53 PM