Three Palestinians and two Israelis killed in spate of deadly incidents

Three Palestinians and two Israelis killed in spate of deadly incidents

Kerry Wise
December 14, 2018

In the Old City of occupied east Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man, Majd Muteir, after he injured two Israeli police officers in an alleged stabbing attack before dawn. An army spokesperson was unable to confirm reports that the assailant had targeted Israeli soldiers.

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian man during clashes in Ramallah, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the occupied West Bank on December 13, 2018. The IDF believes that the attacker then fled the scene by auto, driving somewhere near Ramallah.

"The Israelis say he carried out the shooting attack near Ofra last week so this is why they attacked him, but we don't believe he was involved", the relative said.

Seven people were wounded in the shooting, including a woman in the 30th week of her pregnancy.

Doctors tried to save her baby boy with an emergency caesarean but he died on Wednesday and was laid to rest in Jerusalem. The baby was delivered on Sunday after the mother was seriously wounded during the drive-by attack, but the baby's condition deteriorated on Tuesday and he passed away.

Thursday's shooting came hours after Israeli security forces tracked down and killed a Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis.

Ashraf Naalwa, 23, was killed when forces tried to arrest him near Nablus in the West Bank, Israel's Shin Bet security service said.

The Islamist Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, saluted the shooting and in a statement said it proved "resistance" was still alive in the West Bank.

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The house near Nablus where Naalwa was found was peppered with bullet holes after the raid, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

"We are searching for the terrorist".

The driver of the vehicle, Salah Al-Barghouti, was shot and arrested by security forces. Published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, it blamed the recent events on Israel's "policy of repeated raids into cities and incitement against the President, and the absence of a peace horizon".

Israeli media reported that a passing auto opened fire outside the settlement, but it was not clear if the gunmen had fled the scene or were stopped.

There were no immediate details on the identity of the assailant.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences following the news of the infant's death, saying, "Our hearts go to Shira and Amichai for the death of the four-day-old baby who still didn't have a name".

Since Sunday's attack, Israeli forces have made a series of incursions into central Ramallah, where Abbas's Palestinian Authority is based.

"Hamas announces with great pride the death of its martyr Salih Omar Barghouti, the perpetrator of the heroic Ofra operation", the terror group wrote on Twitter Thursday.