Middle East

Palestinian tries to stab Israelis in West Bank, is shot dead

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian assailant running towards them with a knife at a bus station in the occupied West Bank on Friday, the army said, and the Hamas militant group claimed him as a member.

Citing an initial investigation, an army statement said that the man had arrived at a junction near the Jewish settlement of Ariel in a car, got out and “armed with a knife, ran toward the bus station where civilians and IDF soldiers were standing”.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the dead man as a resident of Qarawet Bani Hassan, a nearby village.

Hamas claimed him as a member, saying in a statement that he had mounted an “heroic stabbing operation” against “the enemy and its settlers””.

The Israeli army said it was pursuing whoever else was in the vehicle, which had fled the scene.

The West Bank has seen sporadic violence since U.S.-sponsored talks on founding a Palestinian state alongside Israel stalled in 2014.

Writing by Dan Williams, Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Alison Williams, Kevin Liffey, William Maclean

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