Israeli forces kill Palestinian who stabbed soldier: army

September 17, 2016 2:25 AM EDT

Israeli forces gather near the scene of what the Israeli military said was a stabbing attack by a Palestinian, in Tal-Rumida in the West Bank city of Hebron September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian who stabbed and wounded a soldier in the West Bank on Saturday, the military said, as a flare-up of a nearly year-old wave of Palestinian street attacks entered a second day.

The soldier was taken to hospital for treatment, the military said.

With most anti-Israeli assaults carried out since October by individuals without any central guiding hand, it was difficult to gauge why violence had surged in the past 24 hours.

The frequency of what had been near-daily attacks had slowed in recent months.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead three Arab assailants in separate incidents in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said of Saturday's attack that during a "routine security check" in the West Bank city of Hebron, an "assailant armed with a knife stabbed an (Israeli) soldier."

"In response to the immediate threat forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death," the spokeswoman said.

Palestinian officials had no immediate comment on the incident.

At least 215 Palestinians have died in violent incidents since October in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Of them, 144 were identified by authorities as assailants while others were killed during clashes and protests.

Palestinians, many of them acting alone and with rudimentary weapons, have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans in attacks that have waned in recent months.

Palestinians have accused Israel of using excessive force and say some of those killed posed no threat or had no intention of attacking anyone. In some cases, Israel has opened investigations into whether excessive force was used.

Palestinian leaders say assailants have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel says anti-Israeli incitement by Palestinian officials and on social networks have stoked attacks.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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