A Palestinian killed three Israelis and wounded three others in an attack in a settlement in the occupied West Bank before he was shot and killed by Israeli security personnel, Israeli paramedics and Palestinian officials said.
The Zaka paramedic service said the three wounded in the attack at the illegal Ariel settlement were being treated in hospital and that they were in serious condition.
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It was the latest attack in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence this year that has seen near-daily Israeli raids on the occupied West Bank, in which Palestinians are arrested or killed, as well as attacks by Palestinians against Israelis.
The Israeli military said the Palestinian, named by the Palestinian health ministry as 18-year-old Mohammad Souf, first attacked the Israelis at the entrance to the settlement’s industrial zone, then proceeded to a nearby petrol station and stabbed more people there. The army said the man then stole a car, intentionally collided with a car on a nearby highway and struck and killed another person, before fleeing the scene on foot.
It said the attacker was shot by a soldier, and that troops were searching the area for additional suspects.
Amateur video aired on Israeli television appeared to show the suspected attacker running down a highway and collapsing to the ground after he was shot. The Palestinian health ministry later said that Souf was from the nearby village of Hares.
Israeli forces raided Souf’s family home and, according to Palestinian media outlets, physically attacked family members.
No Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was hailed by spokespeople for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In a statement, Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanou said that the operation demonstrated “the ability of our people to continue their revolution and defend Al-Aqsa Mosque from daily incursions”.
The left-wing PFLP said the attack was in response “to the policy of field executions pursued by the [Israeli] occupation and its security services against our people, the last of which will not be the Palestinian girl Fulla Masalmeh who was killed in Beitunia yesterday”.
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent condolences to the families of the Israelis killed in the attack and said Israel was “fighting terror nonstop and full force”.
“Our security forces are working around the clock to protect Israeli citizens and harm terror infrastructure everywhere, all the time,” he said.
This year’s surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has killed at least 25 people on the Israeli side and more than 130 Palestinians, making 2022 the deadliest year since 2006.
Israel says its almost nightly arrest raids in the West Bank are needed to dismantle armed networks at a time when Palestinian security forces are unable or unwilling to do so.
The Palestinian Authority says the raids undermine their security forces and are aimed at cementing Israel’s open-ended 55-year illegal occupation of territories they want for their hoped-for state.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been rounded up in such raids, with many placed in so-called administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold them indefinitely without trial or charge.