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Palestinian woman killed, three Israelis wounded in separate attacks

Israeli soldiers claimed that the Palestinian woman, 60, approached them with a knife at a junction in the southern West Bank
Israeli soldiers stand guard after closing the entrance of Nablus City in the occupied West Bank following a reported attack on 2 May 2021 (AFP)

A Palestinian woman was killed and three Israelis were wounded in two separate shooting incidents in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

An Israeli soldier shot Rehab al-Hroub, a 60-year-old Palestinian woman, after she had allegedly approached Israeli soldiers with a knife at the Gush Etzion junction in the southern West Bank. 

Hroub, from Bethlehem, died of her injuries in a Jerusalem hospital.

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Later the same day, gunmen opened fire at a busy intersection, wounding three Israelis, with one in a critical condition. Israeli soldiers were searching for the assailants who fired from a car near a Jewish settlement before driving off, the military said.

"A suspicious vehicle arrived at the junction and fired towards Israeli civilians who were present at the scene," the army said in a statement, according to AFP.

"Troops responded with fire towards the suspicious vehicle which escaped the scene," it added.

The three were identified by officials as 19-year-old students from a religious seminary in the settlement of Itamar.

The army said its forces had blocked off routes and were pursuing the gunmen.

No one claimed the shooting, but Yigal Dilmoni, head of the Yesha settlers' council, blamed "the Palestinian Authority and their friends in Hamas".

Tensions have been high in the West Bank and Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israel had restricted access to the Damascus Gate Plaza, a popular gathering spot for Palestinians after Ramadan's night prayer, leading to days of unrest between the police and Palestinians.

Last week, Israeli forces removed the barricades that had blocked the entrance to the plaza.

On Sunday night, Israeli soldiers wounded five Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported.