Two Palestinian attackers killed as civilians intervene

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A Palestinian protester hurls a stone towards Israeli troops along the border with Israel near El-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)
Two Palestinians, including a teen, attacked Israelis with knives and a car in the West Bank Sunday and were killed when civilians and security forces intervened, the latest in a nearly two-month wave of violence.
 
No Israelis were reported seriously wounded in the two attacks, which occurred after the violence had shown signs of subsiding last week before a new series of assaults began Thursday.
With the attacks defying international efforts to restore calm, US Secretary of State John Kerry is to travel to Israel and the West Bank to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday.
Sunday\’s first attack saw a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who tried to stab an Israeli run over by a Jewish settler then shot dead by soldiers.
The Israeli military said in a statement that the attack occurred at a junction south of Nablus, adding that "forces and a bystander responded to the immediate threat, shooting the attacker".
Palestinian security officials confirmed she had died of her wounds and identified her as Asheraqat Qatanani, from Askar refugee camp near Nablus.
 
The attack occurred in an area known to Israelis as Samaria Junction and to Palestinians as Hawwara Junction.
A Jewish settler in the area, Gershon Mesika, said he hit the assailant with his car before a soldier shot her.
"I saw a terrorist running after a child… and I saw her holding a knife," he told army radio.
"I broke to the right and hit her full-speed with the car. She fell and then a soldier came and finished the job."
The army did not confirm who the attacker was targeting.
 
Later, a Palestinian driving a taxi attempted to ram into civilians and charged at them with a knife before being shot dead, police said.
"A Palestinian man at Kfar Adumim junction in a Palestinian taxi tried to run over civilians," a statement said.
"When he failed he exited the car with a knife and attempted to stab. The terrorist was shot by a civilian and died of his wounds."
It provided no further details on the civilian. A hospital spokeswoman said a 51-year-old Israeli was lightly wounded by the car ramming.
The attacks were the latest in the wave of violence since October 1 that has left 88 dead on the Palestinian side, including one Arab Israeli, as well as 15 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.
 
Many of the Palestinians killed have been alleged attackers.
 
A nearly week-long lull in the violence was shattered on Thursday when knife, gun and car-ramming attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank killed five people, including an American, three Israelis and a Palestinian.
It was one of the deadliest days since the violence began in October.
On Friday, dozens of Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire in clashes in the West Bank and along the Gaza Strip border, while on Saturday, police arrested a Palestinian who allegedly stabbed four Israelis in southern city Kiryat Gat.
Israel\’s Shin Bet internal security service on Sunday identified the alleged assailant as Mohammad Tarda, 18, from a village near southern West Bank city Hebron.
Kerry\’s trip will mark his latest bid to ease tensions, having met Netanyahu in Washington this month and in Berlin in October.
He also met Abbas in Amman last month as well as Jordan\’s King Hussein, and endorsed a plan to install security cameras around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.
Clashes in September between Israeli police and Palestinians at the highly sensitive compound, sacred to both faiths and which Jews revere as the Temple Mount, preceded the current wave of violence.
US officials said they were not expecting to strike any new agreement on a return to peace talks during Kerry\’s visit and would simply try to walk the parties back from the immediate violence.
Kerry\’s meeting with Netanyahu will be his first since Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American former US navy analyst who sold secrets to Israel, was released on Friday after more than 30 years in a US jail.
Netanyahu had long pushed for his release.
SOURCE: AFP

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