At least two Palestinians have been seriously wounded by Israeli fire during protests in the West Bank, just hours after two stabbing incidents in occupied East Jerusalem and the Israeli city of Kiryat Gan.
|Palestinians targeted by ‘surge’ in settler violence|
An Israeli army spokesperson told Al Jazeera that around 350 Palestinians had clashed with Israeli troops near the settlement of Beit El, northwest of Ramallah.
She said Israeli soldiers were attacked with molotov cocktails and rocks, and the two wounded were taken to hospital.
The AFP news agency reported that three Palestinian stone-throwers were wounded when men thought to be undercover Israeli officers opened fire on them.
Four masked men were throwing rocks when others among them suddenly drew pistols.
As the infiltrators grabbed and beat one man, they opened fire. One of the Palestinians was hit on the back of the head, and Israeli soldiers rushed in to assist the shooters.
Palestinians regularly accuse Israel of placing Arabic-speaking infiltrators among demonstrators in order to make arrests.
In a separate incident, the Maan news agency reported that two Palestinians had been shot and injured near the village of Dar Salah, east of Bethlehem, after an attack on an Israeli settler.
Earlier, an Israeli soldier was lightly injured in Kiryat Gan, located south of Tel Aviv, when a Palestinian allegedly stabbed him and attempted to steal his weapon. The Palestinian was shot and killed during the confrontation.
A Palestinian woman was also shot in occupied East Jerusalem while stabbing an Israeli man, according to Israeli police.
The woman stabbed the man in the back on Wednesday, Luba Samri, Israeli police spokesperson, said. However, he managed to take out his gun and shoot her, Samri said.
The woman was seriously injured while the man sustained light injuries.
In another incident in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv, a man was wounded by a Palestinian attacker, who was arrested by Israeli police.
At least 600 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since Saturday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
On Tuesday, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a 13-year-old Palestinian child in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.
He was the sixth Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces or settlers in 2015, according to Defence for Children International – Palestine Section.
Israeli settlers have also launched dozens of attacks against Palestinians and their property in recent days.
Moves to avoid escalation
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a visit to Germany set for Thursday to tackle the violence that has raged for three weeks despite appeals for calm.
Security officials from the two sides had met on Tuesday evening after the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, said he did not want a violent escalation.
Israel lifted age restrictions from Wednesday on Muslims praying at the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in an apparent bid to ease tensions.
In moves to calm the situation, Israeli and Palestinian security officials reportedly met at an undisclosed location in the West Bank on Tuesday evening for talks.
The talks followed Abbas’ call for restraint.