Israeli security forces on Saturday surrounded the Hebron home of a Palestinian assailant who stabbed and lightly wounded an IDF soldier in the West Bank city earlier that day.
The assailant, identified as 25-year-old Hatem Abdel-Hafiz al-Shaloudi, was shot and killed by security forces near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the city, the army said following the attack.
A military statement said the attacker drew a knife during a routine security check in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, wounding the soldier. “In response to the immediate threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death,” the statement said.
The incident was the fifth apparently terror-related attack of the weekend, and the third in the Hebron area.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, condemned Israel for the “extra-judicial killings” of the attackers but did not condemn the attacks themselves. “Israel is flagrantly employing a systematic and willful policy of summary executions against the Palestinian people; such provocative acts are in direct violation of international law and conventions,” Ashrawi said. “We call on the international community to engage rapidly and effectively before it is too late.”
Israel blames the violence on a campaign of incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify attackers as heroes and encourage more attacks.
Following Saturday’s incident the IDF said, “the attacks in recent days are just another example of the danger of Palestinian incitement spread through social media.”
On Friday morning, a Jordanian national was shot and killed as he attempted to stab a Border Police officer at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.
Less than an hour later, a soldier shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a Palestinian woman who allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack outside the Kiryat Arba settlement next to Hebron.
On Friday afternoon, a bus driver was also lightly wounded when unidentified perpetrators threw rocks and glass bottles full of paint at his vehicle on the highway between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
Late Thursday night in Hebron, IDF soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian suspect, Muhammad Ahmad Abed al-Fattah al-Sarrahin, who fled as they attempted to arrest him.
“During an arrest operation in Beit Ula, security forces apprehended one suspect while another attempted to flee the building,” an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP.
“During the pursuit a force opened fire, resulting in the suspect’s death.”
The Hebron area, where Palestinians, Israeli settlers and soldiers live in close proximity, has been a frequent scene of clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, as well as terror attacks by Palestinian assailants.
In the past year, Israel saw a wave of so-called “lone wolf” Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 35 Israelis and four foreign nationals since October 2015. Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed in the past year, with the Israeli army and police saying that most of those killed were attackers or involved in clashes with security forces.
However, the violence had dramatically waned in the past several months.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report