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Israeli army kills Palestinian near West Bank settlement

Israeli military says Maen Abu Qaraa attempted to stab one of its soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra
Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian protesters in West Bank town of Al-Ram, near Jerusalem last month (Reuters)

Israeli troops on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, the army said.

"A Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israel Defence Forces soldier guarding a bus stop near the community of Ofra," a statement in English said.

"Responding to threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death," it said.

The Palestinian health ministry named him as Maen Abu Qaraa, 23, from an area northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Also on Thursday, "a Palestinian gunman opened fire" at soldiers near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem, lightly wounding one of them, an army statement said.

"Forces are searching the area for the perpetrator, who fled the scene," the military said. 

And on Monday, a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli troops after shooting and wounding three soldiers at crossing point close to Ramallah, the Israeli army said. A Palestinian security source said the dead man was a member of the Palestinian police.

"[A] Palestinian gunman arrived at a [military] crossing at the entrance to Ramallah and opened fire at forces at the scene, injuring three soldiers. In response to the immediate threat, forces shot the assailant," an Israeli army statement said.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks began a year ago, but the violence has significantly declined in recent months.

Over the past year, Palestinians, many acting alone and often using rudimentary weapons and cars, have killed at least 35 Israelis and two visiting Americans in similar attacks.

During the same period, at least 225 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers. Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out attacks, according to Israeli authorities. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes, while some were killed in air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Most of the attacks were by lone-wolf assailants, many of them young people, including teenagers.

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