Middle East

Palestinian assailant shot dead in West Bank stabbing attempt: Israeli police

Israeli security forces shot dead a suspected Palestinian assailant who tried to stab a man at a busy intersection near a West Bank settlement on Tuesday, police said, a location that has seen several incidents during two months of violence.
A police spokeswoman said the assailant was shot dead as he wielded a knife in the attempted stabbing at Gush Etzion junction and a bystander was lightly hurt from a stray bullet fired by an officer securing the location.
Almost daily Palestinian stabbings, car rammings and shootings have killed 19 Israelis and one US citizen since October 1.
Israeli forces have killed 96 Palestinians, many of whom were carrying out assaults and others in clashes with police and troops. Many of those killed have been teenagers
Palestinian allegations that Israel is trying to alter the religious status quo at a Jerusalem holy site – known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa mosque stands, and to Jews as the Temple Mount – have fuelled the violence.
Non-Muslim prayer is banned around al-Aqsa and Israel has said it will not change that. But more visits by Jewish religious activists and ultra-nationalist Israeli politicians to the complex, where two biblical temples once stood, have done little to convince Palestinians.

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