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Palestinian shot dead by soldiers in attempted stabbing: Israeli army

Palestinian sources say alleged assailant was a teenager from northern West Bank, as Israel bans non-residents from entering Ramallah
Israeli security forces gather around the body of a man who was killed following a reported shooting attack on Sunday (AFP)

A Palestinian youth was shot dead on Monday after trying to stab Israeli soldiers near a settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israel's army said.

Palestinian security forces identified the alleged assailant as Ahmad Hassan Tuba, from a village in the northern West Bank, although there were initially conflicting reports of his age, with the AFP news agency reporting that he was 17 and the Maan news agency reporting that he was 19.

"[Soldiers] identified a suspect infiltrating the security fence near the community of Salit, east of Kfar Saba," the Israeli army said in a statement. "When forces arrived at the scene the assailant drew a knife and attempted to stab the soldiers.

"Responding to the imminent threat, the force fired towards the attacker, resulting in his death."

Palestinian sources said Tuba had been attempting to cross the separation fence into Israel to look for work, according to the Haaretz newspaper.

Salit settlement, south of the city of Tulkarem, is situated close to Israeli territory.  

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks erupted in October. Most of the attacks have been stabbings, although there have also been occasional shootings.

On Sunday, a Palestinian opened fire at a checkpoint near the Beit El settlement, close to Ramallah in the West Bank, wounding three Israelis before being shot dead, Israeli officials said.

Israeli medics said two of the three wounded had serious injuries.

Israel on Monday banned non-residents from entering the Ramallah area, posing problems for tens of thousands of people who commute to the city from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

"In accordance with situation assessments following yesterday's shooting attack in Beit El, security measures have been taken in the area and only residents of Ramallah are allowed to enter the city," a military spokeswoman said.

The violence has killed 25 Israelis, as well as an American and an Eritrean, according to an AFP count.

At the same time, 161 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most were accused of carrying out attacks by the Israeli security forces but others were killed during clashes and demonstrations.