Israeli soldiers killed in West Bank car attack


The site of the incidentImage copyright

Image caption

The incident happened near the Jewish settlement of Mevo Dotan

The Israeli military says an officer and a soldier have been killed after a Palestinian man deliberately drove his car into a group of Israelis in the north of the occupied West Bank.

The incident happened near the Jewish settlement of Mevo Dotan, west of the Palestinian town of Jenin.

Two other soldiers were injured in the incident, reports said.

The suspect fled from the scene but was later detained. Reports said he was lightly injured.

The Israeli military said the soldiers had been securing routes near the settlement of Mevo Dotan.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Israel’s security service identified the suspect as Alaa Kaha from a village near Jenin. It said he had previously been imprisoned for security offences and was released a year ago.

The Israeli military said it was responding by suspending permits for the suspect’s family for employment and trade access to Israel and Jewish West Bank settlements.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas hailed the car-ramming incident but did not say it was behind it.

The incident happened amid high tension on Friday after Hamas called for protests to mark 100 days since US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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There were clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in several cities in the West Bank.

The US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but has infuriated Palestinians.

The declaration broke with decades of US neutrality on the issue and put it out of step with the rest of the international community.

Last month the US said it would open its new embassy in the city in May.

More than 30 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed in violence since Mr Trump’s declaration, AFP reported.

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