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Fourth death in spate of attacks on Israelis

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Fourth death in spate of attacks on Israelis

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Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian who they say stabbed and wounded a soldier in the West Bank.

Military sources say the soldier has been taken to hospital for treatment.



What have the Israeli military said?



An Israeli military spokeswoman said that during a “routine security check” in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, an “assailant armed with a knife stabbed an (Israeli) soldier.”

“In response to the immediate threat, forces shot the assailant, resulting in his death.”



What have Palestinian officials said?



There has been no immediate comment from Palestinian officials about Saturday’s attack.



What is the context?



Observers say this is the second day of a flare-up in an almost year-long wave of attacks.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead three Arab assailants in separate incidents in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The frequency of what were at one stage near-daily attacks has slowed in recent months.







How many people been killed in the violence since last year?



At least 215 Palestinians have died in violent incidents since last October in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The authorities say 144 were identified as attackers while others were killed during clashes and protests.

At least 33 Israelis have died, as well as two visiting Americans.



What is prompting the violence?



Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014.

They also cite Israeli settlement expansion in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel says Palestinian officials and social networks are stoking anti-Israeli incitement, which is leading to attacks.

Palestinians have accused Israel of using excessive force.

They say some of those killed posed no threat or had no intention of attacking anyone.

In some cases, Israel has opened investigations into whether excessive force has been used.

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