RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israeli troops on Tuesday killed a Palestinian man who allegedly tried to ram his vehicle into a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, army officials said.
According to Palestinian media, the soldiers opened fire at the vehicle, killing the man and causing his car to veer off course, crash into a military vehicle and burst into flames near the northern West Bank town of Jenin.
The identity of the slain Palestinian was not immediately announced, and there were no reports of injuries to the Israeli forces.
Lone Palestinian attackers have been accused in numerous stabbing and car-ramming attacks in recent years. Palestinians and rights groups accuse Israel of often using excessive force and in some cases, even killing innocent people.
Tuesday’s incident came days after a weekend of intensified Israel-Palestinian violence across the West Bank, sparked by the death of a Jewish settler who was shot dead by at least one Palestinian gunman on Thursday evening. The death of Yehuda Dimentman ignited a string of settler retaliation attacks, leaving at least three Palestinians requiring hospital treatment.
Thursday’s deadly attack took place near Homesh, a former settlement evacuated as part of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. In recent years, settlers have re-established an unauthorized outpost at the site, one of dozens of outposts in the West Bank that are considered illegal but tolerated by the Israeli government.
After a three-day manhunt, the Israeli military announced on Sunday it had arrested four Palestinians they believed to have taken part in the shooting. Troops also scuffled with settlers who entered the outpost and attempted to establish what the army said were “illegal structures” at the site.
These developments come amid a gradual uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months.
Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. More than 700,000 Jewish settlers live in the territories, which are sought by the Palestinians as parts of a future state. Palestinians, along with the majority of the international community, consider settlements to be illegal and the major obstacle to peace.