Elderly Palestinian woman shot dead by Israeli army
JERUSALEM: The Israeli army shot dead two Palestinians yesterday, one an elderly woman accused of trying to run over soldiers in the occupied West Bank and the other a man who took part in a violent Gaza Strip protest.
Separately, three Israelis were wounded in the West Bank, two of them shot near the Cave of the Patriarchs, a shrine holy to Muslims and Jews in the city of Hebron, and a third stabbed outside the Jewish settlement of Beit El, the military said.
Searches are under way for their assailants, it added.
The incidents were the lat- est in a five-week-old campaign of Palestinian street attacks, fuelled in part by Muslim agitation at stepped-up Jewish visits to a contested Jerusalem holy site, as well as by long-deadlocked peacemaking with Israel.
Eleven Israelis have been killed in stabbings, shootings or other attacks during the period. Israeli forces have shot dead at least 71 Palestinians, including 42 who Israel claims were carrying out or about to carry out attacks. Many were teenagers.
Near Hebron, a 72-year-old Palestinian woman tried to ram her car into a group of Israeli soldiers, a military spokeswoman alleged.
They opened fire and wounded the woman, who was taken to an Israeli hospital. The hospital said she died en route.
In Gaza, rock-throwing protesters gathered near the border fence with Israel and were fired on by troops on the other side. Medics said a Palestinian was killed. The Israeli army said it opened fire at “instigators” among the Palestinians after they tried to breach the fence and ignored warning shots.
Another Palestinian, from the minority Christian com- munity, was critically hurt by Israeli army fire during a violent protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, medics said.
The violence has been the worst since the Gaza war last year, with Israeli forces hardput to anticipate often spontaneous attacks by young Palestinians unaffiliated to militant groups.
Though peace talks have been stalled since the middle of last year, the US-backed Palestinian administration in the West Bank has been quietly cooperating on security with Israel, while publicly criticising the Israeli crackdowns as heavy-handed. – Reuters