A 19-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops in the occupied West bank on Monday, police and hospital officials said, making it the third Palestinian death in Hebron within the day.
The youth was killed as Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian protesters near the Beit Einoun village, during clashes in the area. Earlier in the afternoon, another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces near the Cave of the Patriarchs, also known as the Ibrahimi mosque, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that 19 year old Saad al-Atrash tried to stab a soldier.
However, witnesses told local Palestinian media that Israeli soldiers had instructed Atrash to walk towards them, before they shot him. One eyewitness, who was not named, reported that an Israeli soldier then placed a knife near Atrash’s feet.
The attack came minutes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel needed to “control all of the territory for the forseeable future”. Addressing the Israeli parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Netanyahu said he did not want a one-state solution, which would see a single state comprising the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel with equal rights for all citizens.
Explaining his opposition to a one-state solution, Netanyahu said “half of the Palestinians are ruled by extreme Islam that wants to destroy us; if there were elections tomorrow, Hamas would win”.
“I’m asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.”
His comments came amid a spike in violence that has seen at least 59 Palestinians and eight Israelis killed since 1 October. An Israeli Jew and one Eritrean have also been killed after being mistaken for attackers.
Earlier in the day, a Palestinian man was shot dead after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier in the neck, leaving him severely injured. “The assailant stabbed the Israeli in the neck, wounding him severely. The attacker was shot on site, resulting in his death,” a statement from the military said.
Emergency medical services spokesman Magen David Adom said a 19-year-old Israeli with a stab wound in his neck had been taken to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, which said he was in a “serious and unstable condition.” Palestinians named the dead attacker as Raed Jarradat, in his early 20s, from the village of Sair, north of Hebron and close to the Beit Einun junction where the attack took place.
On Sunday, a man from Sair was shot and wounded by gunfire shortly after an Israeli was stoned and stabbed nearby.
Also on Sunday, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl Dania Irsheid was shot dead while allegedly trying to knife Israeli border police in Hebron, where many of the incidents in nearly a month of attacks have taken place. However, a Hebron resident who was standing just a few metres away from Irsheid said that she raised her arms up and told the Israeli soldiers “I don´t have a knife”
“She went through a metal detector. In the school bag they found nothing and asked her, ‘Where’s the knife?’ She said, ‘I don’t have a knife.’ Then they fired between her legs. She was terrified and moved back half a meter or a meter,” the resident told CNN.
“She raised her arms in the air saying ‘I don’t have a knife.’ Then they shot eight to 10 bullets, but I don’t know exactly who was shooting. Then she fell on the ground.” Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces erupted at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound in September as Muslims protested an increase in Jewish visitors during their religious holidays.
According to the status quo in place since Israel seized the complex from Jordan in the 1967 war, Jews may visit the site but are forbidden from praying at what they call the Temple Mount.