A Palestinian woman injured an Israeli soldier in a car-ramming attack in the occupied West Bank on Friday before troops at the scene shot her dead, the army said.
“An assailant rammed her car into a soldier guarding the Gush Etzion junction,” it said in a statement. “Forces on site, responding to the imminent threat, shot the attacker, resulting in her death. A knife was found in the assailant’s car.”
Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital, where the soldier was taken, described his injury as “light”.
Gush Etzion junction, a major intersection near a large block of Israeli settlements in the southern West bank, is a major hub for hitchhiking soldiers and settlers on the road between Hebron and Jerusalem.
Pictures of the scene published by Palestinian news site Maan showed a white car stopped haphazardly on the pavement with a smashed driver-side window and eight bullet holes in the windscreen.
The Palestinian woman has not been officially named, although local news sites suggested she was a 34-year-old from Husan, a small West Bank town some nine kilometres west of Bethlehem.
A wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories since October has left around 190 Palestinians – including many attackers – dead and over 15,000 injured by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Over the same period, according to Israeli figures, 33 Israelis have been killed in a months-long wave of violence that some observers are calling a third Palestinian Intifada (“uprising”).
AFP meanwhile puts the toll lower, saying that 178 Palestinians and 28 Israelis, as well as an American, a Sudanese and an Eritrean national, have been killed.
Most of the Palestinians who died in the violence were killed by Israeli forces while carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.
Others were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or demonstrations.
Many analysts say Palestinian frustration with the grinding Israeli occupation and expanded settlement building in the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have fed the unrest.
Israel blames incitement by Palestinian leaders and media as a main cause of the violence.
Many of the attackers have been young Palestinians, including teenagers, who appear to have been acting on their own.[Source: Middle East Eye]