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Israeli forces fatally shoot second Palestinian woman in West Bank

The woman allegedly stabbed an Israeli border police officer at a checkpoint in Hebron before being shot dead, says Israeli police statement
Israeli forces man a checkpoint in the area of the Ibrahimi Mosque during the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on 8 April in Hebron (AFP/File photo)

Israeli forces fatally shot a second Palestinian woman on Sunday, this time near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, further escalating tensions that have been heating up in recent weeks. 

The woman allegedly stabbed an Israeli soldier at one of the checkp0ints in the town's old city just before being shot dead.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the woman had been "neutralised" near an Israeli military checkpoint. 

Hebron is the only Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank where Israeli settlements and enclaves can be found within the city centre. Because of this, Israeli checkpoints and military installations are positioned more densely. 

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Earlier on Sunday, Israeli forces fatally shot an unarmed woman near Bethlehem who has been identified as Ghada Ibrahim al-Aridi, a 47-year-old widowed mother of six from Husan village, west of Bethlehem. 

Aridi died in a hospital in the nearby town of Beit Jala after suffering massive blood loss from a torn artery.  

The Israeli army said soldiers fired warning shots into the air when the woman approached them near the town of Husan, before they "fired towards the suspect's lower body".

No weapon was found on her person, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The army said it was investigating the incident.

The shootings are the latest in a tense three-week period in which 14 Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and inside Israel. 

At least 12 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the same period in the West Bank, including one shot by a settler.

Jenin on fire

Further inflaming tensions, Israeli forces also carried out fresh raids on Sunday in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, the home of Palestinians who launched two recent deadly attacks. 

At least ten Palestinians have been wounded in Israel's crackdowns on the northern district in recent days, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

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"The State of Israel has gone on the offensive," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said after a cabinet meeting on Sunday, vowing to "settle accounts with everyone who was linked, either directly or indirectly, to the attacks".

In recent days Israeli troops detained 20 Palestinians in and around Jenin, a bastion of armed Palestinian resistance, according military sources. 

The operations in Jenin came after a gunman from the town opened fire in a Tel Aviv nightlife area on Thursday, killing three Israelis and wounding more than a dozen others. 

Rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israel for cracking down on entire towns and villages following lone wolf attacks - a policy that has been denounced as a form of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law. 

The Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad welcomed the Tel Aviv attack, which was condemned by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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