Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian attacker

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier in the West Bank on Thursday and was shot dead by security forces, Israeli authorities said, as a five-week wave of violence continued.

Police said the Palestinian stabbed the soldier in the head. The soldier was lightly wounded, the military said.

The incident took place in Hebron, a volatile West Bank city that is a frequent flashpoint for violence. Several hundred ultranationalist Jewish settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves amid tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Hebron has been the site of days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops, and also the scene of several stabbing attacks by Palestinians. The Israeli military said Thursday that a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier in the city on Wednesday died after forces shot him.

Thursday's incident took place near a disputed shrine known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, where the Bible says the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried along with three of their wives. Muslims call it the al-Ibrahimi mosque, reflecting the fact that Abraham is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam.

The current wave of violence began in mid-September in Jerusalem amid tensions over a sensitive holy site and quickly spread deeper into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks. In that time, 57 Palestinians have been killed, 37 of them said by Israel to be attackers, the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Israel says the wave of violence is the result of Palestinian incitement. But Palestinians say it is the result of frustration stemming from nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation.