2 Palestinian attackers shot dead
Israeli troops killed two knife-wielding Palestinian assailants in the occupied West Bank yesterday, the army said, the latest in a months-long spate of street violence that Israel's defence minister described as declining.
Almost daily stabbings, car-rammings and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israelis have been fuelled in part by frustration at failed statehood talks and a dispute over a Jerusalem holy site, with Muslims angered by perceived Jewish encroachment.
The Israeli military said soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab one of them near the West Bank city of Hebron and, in a separate incident near the town of Nablus, killed a man after he slashed and wounded an army officer.
That brought the number of Palestinians killed since Oct 1 to at least 145. Israel says 93 of these were assailants, while most of the others died in clashes with Israeli security forces.
Palestinian attacks have killed 24 Israelis and a US citizen over the same period.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel's pre-emptive raids and arrests had prevented the violence from escalating into an armed Palestinian revolt, and he predicted that the grassroots violence would stop.