Israel soldier in West Bank stabbed, 2 Palestinian attackers shot


File picture shows Israeli security forces in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Hebron (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)

Jerusalem – Two knife-wielding Palestinians wounded an Israeli soldier in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday before being shot dead by troops, an army spokeswoman said.

The stabbing came at the entrance to the heavily guarded Jewish settler enclave in the heart of the city, the source of constant tension with its 200,000-strong Palestinian population.

Medics said the soldier was in moderate condition.

It occurred as Jews marked the Purim holiday, which sees street parades and people dressing up in costumes. The already heavy Israeli security presence in Hebron has been increased for the holiday.

It was the latest attack in a wave of violence that has left 200 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans an Eritrean and a Sudanese dead since October 1, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air raids in Gaza.

In an unusual decision, Israel has also closed off the West Bank for Purim, with the security measure that affects tens of thousands of Palestinian workers to remain in place through Saturday.

It regularly implements such closures for other Jewish holidays such as Passover and Yom Kippur, though less often for Purim.

Source: AFP