JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian militant allegedly tried to stab an Israeli in the occupied West Bank on Saturday and the Israeli shot and killed the Palestinian.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the Palestinian man as Tariq Maali, 42, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group later claimed him as a member. The health ministry said he was shot northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli military said the man arrived at the outpost and tried to stab an Israeli civilian. The military said he was armed with a knife and that the Israeli, a settler, shot him. The settler wasn’t injured.
Saturday’s death was the latest in months of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Tensions have soared in the West Bank, where the Israeli military has been conducting near-nightly arrest raids since last spring after a wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis killed 19 people. Another 10 Israelis were killed in a second string of attacks later last year.
Israel says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians see them as further entrenchment of Israel’s open-ended, 55-year occupation of lands they seek for their future state.
Saturday’s death put at 18 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank since the beginning of 2023.
Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed by Israel in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 2022, according to figures by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, making it the deadliest year since 2004.
Israel says most of the dead were militants. But Palestinian stone-throwers, youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations also have been killed.
Palestinians have in recent years carried out a spate of shooting, stabbing and car-ramming attacks but rights groups accuse Israel of using excessive force against Palestinians. Israel says soldiers, and in some cases civilians, face complex, life-threatening situations.