Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian dead as Jerusalem tensions mount

Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian dead as Jerusalem tensions mount
Israeli forces kill a suspected Palestinian knife attacker amid a wave of unrest in the occupied West Bank following Israeli infringements of the al-Aqsa mosque.
2 min read
20 July, 2017
Tensions are currently running high in the West Bank over the al-Aqsa mosque [Anadolu]

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after attempting to stab soldiers south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Thursday and was shot dead, the Israeli army said.

"An assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab (Israeli) soldiers at a checkpoint in Tekoa. In response to the immediate threat, forces fired shots towards the assailant," a military statement said.

An army spokeswoman also confirmed the suspect's death to AFP.

No reports of any other casualties have emerged and the details of the suspected attacker have yet to be released.

Last week, another Palestinian was killed while attempting to ram his car into Israeli soldiers stationed at a checkpoint. The assailant also tried to stab the troops before he was gunned down.

A wave of violence that emerged in October 2015 has seen at least 284 Palestinians killed, along with 44 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

In recent months, the violence has subsided somewhat, however tensions are currently running high over further Israeli infringement at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Two Israeli policemen were killed at the holy site earlier this week, leading to authorities installing metal detectors and cameras around the mosque.

The measures have sparked a backlash from Palestinian leaders, who say that the measures are part of a wider Israeli plan to take control of the mosque compound which is also known as Temple Mount, and a sacred site in Judaism.