Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

West Bank shootings kill three Palestinians, two Israelis

West Bank shootings kill three Palestinians, two Israelis

Israel's military has blocked all entry and exit points to the Palestinian city of Ramallah after two Israelis were killed in an attack in the West Bank.

Israeli security agency Shin Bet said soldiers had tried to arrest the man - whom they suspected of being responsible for a drive-by shooting near the Israeli settlement of Ofra on Sunday - but shot him dead when he tried to escape.

In a separate event, Israeli police say security forces also shot dead a Palestinian accused of killing two settlers in the West Bank, following a two-month manhunt.

In a separate incident, Israeli police say a third man was shot dead in Jerusalem's Old City overnight after he wounded two Israeli officers in a stabbing.

Ashraf Naalwa, 23, was killed early Thursday morning after Israeli forces surrounded his hideout.

In the wake of a deadly night, at about 11am on Thursday, four Israelis in their 20s were shot outside the illegal settlement outpost of Givat Asaf in the central West Bank.

Later, the IDF said it had "neutralised" a Palestinian who had attempted to ram his vehicle into a bus stop in Ramallah, injuring another Israeli soldier.

They were suspects in alleged attacks on Israelis.

In this atmosphere, a number of killings took place before the night that saw three Palestinians and two Israelis killed.

The house where Naalwa was killed, located in the northern West Bank refugee camp of Askar, was peppered with bullet holes after the operation, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

The attack occurred just a couple miles from a similar shooting on Sunday in which a pregnant Jewish woman was critically injured, forcing doctors to deliver her child prematurely via Cesarean section.

"We will find the killers, we haven't stopped searching".

A seriously injured man and woman were both taken to hospitals in Jerusalem for treatment.

Although Hamas's power base is in Gaza it also poses a grassroots challenge to Abbas in the West Bank, where its ability to operate is hampered by the presence of both Abbas's forces and of Israeli troops.

Asked whether they had co-operated in the raids, Israeli and Palestinian security officials declined comment.

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

A Palestinian driver who attacked a different bus stop in Ramallah later on Thursday was also shot dead, according to Israeli media.

"The flame of resistance in the [West] Bank will remain alive until the occupation is defeated on all our land", Hamas said.

The West Bank has seen simmering violence over long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"We lost a few hours ago an newborn baby, four days old", Netanyahu said in an address to foreign media.

Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad hailed Na'alwa's attack, calling it a "heroic" operation that came in response to Israeli "crimes" against Palestinians.

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