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article imagePalestinian kills Israeli near West Bank settlement: police

By AFP     Feb 5, 2018 in World

A Palestinian stabbed and killed an Israeli man near a major West Bank settlement on Monday before fleeing the scene, Israeli authorities said.

"Israeli man murdered in stabbing attack in Ariel," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement, referring to the settlement in the occupied West Bank.

He said that security forces were searching for the attacker.

The victim was identified by an internal settler communique as Itamar Ben Gal, in his 40s and a resident of Har Bracha settlement near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli army identified the assailant as a Palestinian and said the incident occurred at a bus stop at the entrance to Ariel.

A video published online showed Ben Gal waiting for a bus as the assailant crosses the road and stabs him in the chest.

The army said an Israeli soldier pursued the attacker in his car and hit him with the vehicle, but he escaped.

The area around the settlement was closed off after the stabbing, eyewitnesses said.

Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement that controls the Gaza Strip, welcomed the attack, saying it showed the "Jerusalem Intifada (uprising) continues".

Tensions have risen since US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which angered Palestinians who also see the city as their capital.

Twenty Palestinians and two Israelis have been killed since Trump's December 6 announcement.

The majority of Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces, while Israeli Rabbi Raziel Shevach was shot dead on January 8 near another settlement in the northern West Bank.

Israeli forces have killed two people during raids searching for the man suspected of killing Shevach.

Ariel, one of the largest settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is near Nablus and 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of Jerusalem.

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