Israeli soldiers kill two Palestinians after alleged car-ramming

One Palestinian wounded in shooting after what the Israeli army described as a ramming attack in the occupied West Bank.

    Israeli soldiers gather at the scene of an incident near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]
    Israeli soldiers gather at the scene of an incident near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

    Israeli soldiers shot three Palestinians after a car ramming attack in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said.

    Media outlets in Israel said two of the alleged attackers on Monday were killed, while the Israeli military said another was slightly wounded.

    In a statement, the Israeli army said an officer was critically injured and a soldier slightly hurt when they were hit by the vehicle, about 10km northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

    Israeli soldiers had stopped their car on the roadside at night - Israeli media reported it had broken down - and were deliberately struck, the military said.

    Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and has occupied the territory since, further consolidating its grip on the area by building illegal settlements that are now home to hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers.

    Consulate shuttered

    The attack came as the US officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem, downgrading the status of its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians by folding it into the US Embassy to Israel.

    For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians. Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the command of the embassy.

    The symbolic shift hands authority over US diplomatic channels with the West Bank and Gaza to ambassador David Friedman, a longtime supporter and fundraiser for the West Bank settler movement and a fierce opponent of the Palestinian leadership.

    The announcement from the State Department came early Monday in Jerusalem, and the merger was effective the same day.

    "This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. "It does not signal a change of US policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip."

    SOURCE: News agencies