Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem amid election count

The violence comes as election results show Benjamin Netanyahu likely to return as prime minister

Israeli border police search a Palestinian man after a stabbing incident on November 3. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in the West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, while another Palestinian was shot dead after stabbing a police officer in East Jerusalem, Israeli police said.

In Jerusalem's Old City, the man “pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the officers in his upper leg”, police said. He was shot dead by two other police officers.

Early on Friday, Israeli aircraft struck several targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired on Thursday evening from the Palestinian enclave.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed Daoud Rayan, 42, in Beit Duqqu, north-west of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Two more Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Jenin later in the day and four others were wounded, it said.

The incidents come at a time when votes are being counted in the fifth national elections in four years. Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 72, is expected to make a comeback just over a year after he left office.

Mr Netanyahu is still facing corruption charges which he denies.

If he wins, he is likely to form a coalition government with right-wing extremist ministers such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, who wants to take a tougher position on Palestinian attackers.

“The time has come to restore security to the streets,” he said in a tweet on Thursday after the incidents. “The time has come for a terrorist who goes out to carry out an attack to be eliminated.”

This year has proved to be the deadliest for Palestinians in seven years, with more than 130 people killed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israel said on Thursday it would remove checkpoints in and out of the West Bank city of Nablus after a wave of attacks by a group that calls itself the Lions' Den.

Israel's military said it concluded an operation in the West Bank that had resulted in the arrest or killing of the group's top commanders.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War and has since maintained military occupation of the territory and settled more than 500,000 Israelis there.

Additional reporting by agencies

Updated: November 04, 2022, 4:21 AM