Israeli officer shoots dead alleged Palestinian assailant in West Bank

Scene of an incident in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
Israeli police forensic experts work at the scene of an incident, near the Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

January 5, 2021

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli security officer shot a Palestinian who threw a knife towards him in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Israel’s military said, and Palestinian officials said the man had been killed.

The incident occurred at a road junction situated near a cluster of Israeli settlements southwest of the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, the military said in a statement.

“(A) community security officer spotted a suspect approaching the junction. Following the suspicion, the security officer and an IDF (Israeli military) soldier operated to stop the suspect by firing into the air,” the statement said.

“The suspect threw a knife at the officer, who responded with fire and neutralised the suspect,” the statement added.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the man’s death, but said it did not have details of his identity.

Israel captured and occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War. Palestinians seek the territory for a future state that would include the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Mark Heinrich)