A Palestinian man attacked a group of soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, trying to throw a pipe bomb at them, but was shot dead by the troops, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
The man was also armed with a makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun and attempted to shoot the Israeli troops at Gross Square in Hebron, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the military said.
According to IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman, the man — identified in Palestinian media as Islam Zahida — appeared to be a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
He first threw a number of Molotov cocktails toward a nearby checkpoint in an apparent effort to draw out the soldiers stationed at it in order to then attack them with a pipe bomb.
But the soldiers, from the Givati Infantry Brigade, opened fire at the man fatally wounding him. The pipe bomb in his hand then detonated, according to the IDF.
The man was pronounced dead a short time later.
In addition to the pipe bomb that exploded in Zahida’s hand and the gun, a relatively cheap, locally produced weapon of poor quality, a knife was also found in the man’s possession.
According to Zilberman, a further search of the area found that the suspect had apparently planted a remote-controlled explosive device nearby, which he planned to detonate against the troops, and that a third bomb was found in the man’s car.
Violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem has increased since terror groups in the Gaza Strip began firing rockets at Israel last Monday amid rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions centered on Jerusalem, setting off the worst flare-up of fighting in seven years.
Palestinians and Arab Israelis were holding general strikes on Tuesday to protest Israel’s policies.
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On Monday evening, a Palestinian man was shot and killed by IDF troops near the al-Aroub Refugee Camp close to the West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian media reported. The circumstances that led to 18-year-old Obeida Akram Jawabrah’s death were not immediately clear.
The Ynet news site cited Palestinian medical sources who said Jawabrah was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
The IDF said that forces at the scene identified two suspects throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles traveling nearby and an attempt to arrest the suspects ended in the shooting. No further details were given.
Some 23 West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since hostilities began between Israel and Hamas last Monday. The Israeli army said several were attempting to commit terror attacks, while others were shot by soldiers during violent clashes.
Earlier Monday evening, the IDF said, shots were fired from a passing car at soldiers stationed outside Hebron. There were no reports of injuries.
The two incidents came hours after the IDF said that an assailant tried to ram his vehicle into troops at Hawara in the northern West Bank, hitting a military vehicle. No soldiers were injured and the assailant was arrested, the IDF said in a statement.
The assailant accelerated his vehicle toward troops at the checkpoint, collided with a military patrol vehicle and was then arrested after soldiers fired in the air, according to the IDF.
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On Sunday, seven Border Police soldiers were injured, including two moderately, in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem’s flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. According to police, the Palestinian assailant rammed his car into a temporary police checkpoint, running over a number of officers.
The assailant, a resident of East Jerusalem, was shot dead by the officers, according to media reports.
The tense neighborhood has recently seen violent clashes between Palestinians and far-right Israelis, as well as with police forces over the past weeks. The violence reached a crescendo last Monday when the Hamas terror group began firing rockets from the Gaza Strip after issuing an ultimatum to Israel to remove all forces from the neighborhood and from the nearby Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
On Saturday night a Palestinian was shot dead while attempting to commit a ramming attack near Dahariyya Junction in the southern West Bank, the military said.
Also on Saturday, IDF troops opened fire on an Israeli vehicle that swerved toward them in the West Bank, apparently thinking the accelerating vehicle was an attempted attack. The family in the car said they were trying to get away from burning tires lit by Palestinian rioters.
On Friday a man tried to ram and then stab a soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra. The attacker was shot dead.