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Israeli soldier killed in West Bank ramming attack

Driver arrested after ploughing into two soldiers, killing one and injuring the second, near the illegal settlement of Ofra
The car used in an apparent ramming attack near the illegal settlement of Ofra (Reuters)
By Reuters

The Israeli army said a car driven by a Palestinian deliberately rammed into two Israeli soldiers, killing one and injuring the other, in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

The driver was taken into custody after the apparent attack near the Jewish settlement of Ofra, the army said in a statement.

Witnesses told Israeli media that as he approached a bus stop, he accelerated and aimed the vehicle at two Israelis waiting there.

The death brings to 39 the number of Israelis killed in a wave of Palestinian street attacks, in which two American tourists also died, that began in October 2015.

At least 242 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian Territories over the past 18 months.

Israel says at least 162 were Palestinians who launched stabbing, shooting or ramming attacks. Others died during clashes and protests.

Israel has accused the Palestinian leadership of inciting the violence. The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, denies incitement and charges that in many cases, Israel has used excessive force in thwarting attackers armed with rudimentary weapons.

Photos from the scene of Thursday's incident showed the driver, bound, blindfolded and guarded by a soldier, seated next to his damaged car, in the undergrowth behind the bus stop. The vehicle had Palestinian licence plates.

Five days ago, Israeli paramilitary police officers shot dead a Palestinian after he stabbed three Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City.

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