JERUSALEM: An Israeli soldier shot dead a Palestinian yesterday who drove deliberately at high speed towards troops in the occupied West Bank, injuring one of them, the military said.
Violence has flared in the territory in the past week in the run-up to the planned inauguration later on Thursday of a new Israeli “unity” government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Its agenda includes possible de facto annexation of Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, with cabinet deliberations on the move, vehemently opposed by the Palestinians, set to begin in July.
Palestinians seek to establish a state in the West Bank, land captured by Israel in a 1967 Middle East war, and regard Israeli settlements in the territory as illegal, as do many countries.
The military said that a vehicle driven by a Palestinian hit a soldier in a car-ramming attack at an army post outside Negohot settlement near the city of Hebron and that he was shot dead by another soldier. The injured soldier was taken to hospital.
The Palestinian Health Ministry first confirmed the driver’s death, after the military originally said only that he had been “neutralised”. There was no immediate Palestinian comment on the circumstances of the incident.
On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian in Fawwar refugee camp in the West Bank. The military said soldiers, on an arrest raid, had responded with live fire after being attacked with rocks and fire-bombs. —Agencies