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Palestinian protester shot dead by Israeli troops

Palestinian protesters take cover during clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of land by Israel, in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Kedumim in the occupied West Bank on Friday. - AFP
Palestinian protesters take cover during clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of land by Israel, in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Kedumim in the occupied West Bank on Friday. - AFP

TEL AVIV: Israeli troops on Friday shot dead a Palestinian man who allegedly attempted to stab soldiers and civilians at a bus stop in the occupied West Bank, the military said.


The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the death of the alleged assailant, identifying him as Amir Atef Rayyan.


The army said the attempted stabbing took place near the Gitain Avisar junction in the West Bank.


The Palestinian, it said, approached a military post in a car "and got out of the vehicle armed with a knife".


The man "ran towards the bus station where civilians and IDF soldiers were standing. The troops fired towards the assailant and neutralised him", the army added.


An army spokesperson confirmed to AFP that the Palestinian was dead.


The army said there were no injuries among the Israelis.


Troops sealed off roads in the area while others chased the vehicle that had dropped off the alleged assailant, looking for more suspects.


According to the Israeli army's annual report, 100 attacks were carried out in 2021 against Israelis in the West Bank, up from 60 a year earlier.


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recorded 410 attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the first 10 months of 2021, compared to 358 in the whole of 2020.


The latest attack came after Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas made a rare visit on Wednesday to Israel for talks with Defence Minister Benny Gantz.


After the talks at Gantz's home, Israel unveiled a package of "confidence-building measures" for the West Bank.


Tensions have been running high in the occupied territory in recent weeks.


The West Bank has seen a series of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis and the killings of Palestinians by Israeli troops during clashes since late November.


WEST BANK POSED FOR 'EXPLOSION'


Abbas said on Thursday in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israeli policies risk triggering an "explosion" in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian state media said.


The Palestinian leader told Putin that Israeli settlements, land confiscation, home demolitions and "settler terrorism" were among factors leading to anger in the West Bank, the official Wafa news agency said.


"The continuation of these Israeli measures will lead to an explosion of the situation," Wafa said Abbas told Putin.


Russia is a member of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators, along with the United Nations, the United States and European Union.


Abbas spoke with Putin two days after meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz at his home. It was the first official visit to Israel by Abbas since 2010. Months earlier, Gantz had visited Abbas in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority.


"Economic and security steps are not a substitute for the political track," Abbas said, adding the Palestinian leadership will have to take "key decisions" at the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) expected in the coming months. - AFP


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