Middle East

Palestinian killed after stabbing two Israeli soldiers

The body of a Palestinian man who was shot dead after stabbing two Israeli soldiers is removed from the scene of the attack near Sinjil in the West Bank (8 April 2015) Image copyright EPA
Image caption An Israeli minister praised the wounded soldier for shooting rather than arresting the assailant

A Palestinian man stabbed two Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank before being shot dead by one of them, the Israeli military says.

The attack took place on Route 60, near the entrance to the Jewish settlement of Maale Levona and the Palestinian village of Sinjil.

One of the soldiers was stabbed in the neck and is in a critical condition. The other suffered light wounds.

The knife attack was the second targeting Israeli soldiers in a week.

It also comes despite security being stepped up for Passover, one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar.

'Serious incident'

The soldiers were members of the Israeli military's Home Front Command and had been sitting inside an ambulance placed on standby at the Sinjil junction during Passover, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

One of the soldiers suffered serious stab wounds to the neck and head. He was given emergency treatment at the scene before being evacuated to hospital in Jerusalem.

The other soldier was stabbed in the back before he opened fire and killed the attacker.

Outgoing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of the nationalist Jewish Home party praised the actions of the wounded soldier.

"Our enemies have only one goal: to hurt as many Jews as they can. I congratulate the security forces who killed the terrorist. This must be the fate of anyone who hurts innocent Jews."

"A serious incident must end this way and not with dreams of liberation from jail."

Palestinian medics identified the attacker as Mohammed Jasser Karakra, a 27-year-old resident of Sinjil, according to the Agence France Presse. They said he was shot twice in the head.

Last Thursday, an Israeli soldier was stabbed by a Palestinian man during a security operation near the West Bank settlement of Oranit. The soldier suffered light wounds, while the assailant was arrested.