Fresh violence hits West Bank amid Christmas celebrations

Israeli bulldozers are seen at a construction site of new houses in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel, established in 1978 (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)
Israeli authorities said Thursday that three Palestinians were killed after they carried out or attempted to carry out attacks against Israelis across the West Bank.
The three separate incidents were the latest in a three month-long wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence and came as revelers were gathering in the West Bank city of Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations.
In the first incident, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker approached the entrance to an industrial zone in the Ariel settlement and stabbed two security guards, wounding them moderately, before they shot and killed him.
Shortly afterward, the Israeli military said a Palestinian wielding a screwdriver was shot dead after he tried to stab security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron, a frequent flashpoint for violence. No Israelis were wounded. Later, in another incident, the military said a Palestinian was shot and killed after he rammed his car into soldiers, wounded one lightly.
The attackers\’ identities were not immediately known.
Near-daily Palestinian attacks have killed 20 Israelis and an American student. Israeli fire has killed 123 Palestinians, 85 of them said by Israel to be attackers and the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli forces. On Wednesday, two Palestinian attackers were shot dead after they stabbed and killed an Israeli man. Another Israeli man died after he was apparently shot by Israeli police trying to subdue the attackers.
Israel says the unrelenting violence is fanned by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement. The Palestinians say it is rooted in frustrations stemming from nearly five decades of Israeli occupation.
Also Thursday, police said they were investigating the "many serious offenses" seen in a video of extremist Jews aired Wednesday on Israeli Channel 10 TV. The video purported to show a wedding attended by Jewish extremists last week, where revelers stabbed pictures of a Palestinian toddler killed in an arson attack earlier this year, danced with rifles belonging to the Israeli military and in one case, held a mock firebomb in the air. The report said the people were friends of the suspects in the arson on the Palestinian home in July.
Israeli leaders have expressed outrage at the video.
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