Palestinian with axe attacks Israeli soldier, shot dead: army

Israeli security forces are on a heightened state of alert after a spate of stabbing incidents across the occupied West Bank

Jerusalem (AFP) – A Palestinian armed with an axe attacked an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank and was shot dead on Thursday, the Israeli army said, ending a three-week lull in deadly incidents.

The soldier was lightly wounded in the attack, which occurred near the Al-Arroub refugee camp between Hebron and Bethlehem.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed as Ibrahim al-Gharooz Baradeah, 45.

A wave of violence that erupted in October has killed 201 Palestinians and 28 Israelis. Two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have also been killed.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.

Others were shot dead by Israeli forces during protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has faced accusations of using excessive force in response to some of the attacks, charges which it has firmly denied.

The last deadly attack on March 24 saw an Israeli soldier caught on video shooting a Palestinian assailant in the head as he lay on the ground wounded after stabbing another soldier minutes earlier.

The soldier who fatally shot him has been arrested, with the Palestinian posing no apparent threat at the time.

The attacks have steadily declined in recent weeks, though there are concerns that the Jewish Passover holiday beginning April 22 will lead to a new upsurge.

Many analysts say Palestinian frustration with Israeli occupation and settlement building in the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have fed the unrest.

Israel blames incitement by Palestinian leaders and media as a main cause of the violence.


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