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Palestinian killed after stabbing Israeli officer

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Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian after he stabbed a Border Police officer near Beita in southern Nablus, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said.

Israeli police identified him as 21-year-old Rafeeq Kamil Rafeeq al-Taj, based on his identity card.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society earlier identified him incorrectly as his younger 16-year-old brother, Ahmad al-Taj.

Medics from the society who arrived on the scene said that Taj was shot five times.

Abdelhalim Jaafreh, head of the Red Crescent in Nablus, said, “He was critically wounded by five bullets. We tried to save him but he died.”

Israeli police confirmed Taj’s death.

A police spokesperson said that Israeli forces opened fire on him after he stabbed a border police officer in the back.

The policeman, who was on patrol with other officers, was lightly wounded, police said.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man twice in his hand after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier west of Ramallah.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces shot the Palestinian on Route 443 near the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.

Less than a week before, another Palestinian was shot dead on the same road following his alleged involvement in a stabbing attack that left an Israeli civilian lightly wounded.

Anas Muntaser Taha, 20, from the village of Qutna northwest of Jerusalem, was killed when Israeli forces opened fire “to prevent the suspect from escaping,” an Israeli army spokesperson said.

Earlier this week, Israeli media reported that the Israeli army had implemented new rules of engagement, requiring soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territory to hold their fire unless there is a genuine threat to their lives.

Previous rules allowed Israeli soldiers to use fire “warning shots” when their lives were not at imminent risk, and subsequently aim for lower extremities when engaging with Palestinians on the ground.

Since the beginning of 2015 Israeli forces have injured an average of 37 Palestinians a week, according to UN figures.

Israeli forces have killed at least 24 Palestinians since the start of the year. MAANNEWS

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