An entrance to the Karmei Tzur settlement, north of Hebron.
(photo credit: ELIASHIV LEVIATAN/TPS)
A Palestinian assailant was shot dead on Wednesday after stabbing a security guard at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, the Israeli military said.
The civilian guard, stationed at the Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, was slightly wounded. Another security guard shot and killed the attacker, the military said in a statement.
"When we arrived to the scene, we saw a 34-year-old man standing near the entrance to the settlement," Magen David Adom Paramedic Dvora Aviad said. "He was walking, with an injured hand from stabbing. With the assistance of an IDF medical force, we gave him initial medical treatment and he was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in mild condition."
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry named the attacker as 19-year-old Hamza Zamaara from Halhoul.
Following the attack, IDF troops from the Etzion regional brigade began operations in Halhoul, where according to a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, troops entered the terrorist's home and interrogated his family.
During the course of the operation a riot broke out with local Palestinian residents throwing stones at troops who then responded with crowd dispersal measures. One rioter was arrested.
Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassim praised the stabbing attack in a Facebook post.
"The new martyr in revolutionary Hebron this morning is a reaffirmation that we are not witnessing a fleeting outburst or a [brief] wave of violence, but ratter an ongoing intifada that seeks to achieve our people’s freedom," he said.
Tensions have risen in the West Bank since US President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. His declaration overturned decades of US policy that its status should be decided in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Late on Tuesday, Israeli forces shot dead at least one Palestinian during a raid in Nablus that led to confrontations with residents, Palestinian health officials said.
In a statement, the military said its troops had been searching for an assailant who fatally stabbed an Israeli man at the entrance to the settlement of Ariel in the West Bank on Monday.
"During the activity, a violent riot was instigated as approximately 500 Palestinians hurled rocks, fire bombs and explosive devices and fired live rounds at IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers, and in addition the rioters built rock barriers," a military statement said.
The troops "responded with riot dispersal means and fired warning shots in the air", it said. "A report regarding a Palestinian being killed and several injured... is being reviewed."
The PA Health Ministry put the number of Palestinians wounded at 29. The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said stone-throwers had clashed with the soldiers.
The alleged attacker in the Ariel incident was an Arab citizen of Israel and Israeli media reports said his father is a Nablus resident. The military said the suspect was not apprehended in the operation and seven people were detained for questioning.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank village of Yamoun and said he was the head of a militant cell responsible for an ambush in which a Jewish settler was shot dead on Jan. 9.
Israel had been looking for the final member of the cell which it said killed
Rabbi Raziel Shevah in a drive-by shooting. Commandos had already killed one of the gunmen involved and captured another.
Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians say east Jerusalem, captured along with the West Bank by Israel in a 1967 war, must be the capital of a state they seek.