Jerusalem: Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian woman as she prepared to carry out a stabbing attack in the West Bank today, the military said, while an Israeli civilian fatally shot a Palestinian assailant outside of Jerusalem, as a new burst of violence flared up ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The military said the woman pulled out a knife at the entrance to a military base and began approaching civilians at the spot.
A local West Bank settler leader, Gershon Mesika, said he noticed the ruckus and veered his vehicle off the road and hit the woman. A soldier on the scene then fired at her and killed her.
The army did not say how close the woman had been to carrying out an attack or release a video of the incident.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, a Palestinian driving a taxi cab tried to run over Israelis east of Jerusalem, police said.
After crashing his car, he came out with a knife and tried to stab people but was shot dead by a bystander before he could harm anyone.
Israeli politicians have encouraged licensed gun owners to carry their weapons during the wave of unrest.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended citizens for being on “maximum alert.”
“I must say that we are showing such awareness, with considerable resourcefulness and courage, and this is deserving of all praise. We are still fighting and will continue to do so,” he said at his weekly Cabinet meeting.
Sunday’s attacks came two days before Kerry is scheduled to arrive in an attempt to calm tensions stemming from a two-month wave of violence that shows no signs of slowing.
It will mark his first visit to the area to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in more than a year.
On Saturday night, a Palestinian attacker stabbed four people in southern Israel. Following hours of an extensive manhunt, police forces found the 18-year-old Palestinian hiding late Saturday in the yard of a home close to where he carried out his stabbing spree in the southern town of Kiryat Gat.
Over the past two months, Palestinian attacks have killed 17 Israelis, mostly in stabbings, while 86 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
Of them, 54 are said by Israel to be attackers and the rest were killed in clashes with Israeli troops.
The wave of violence began over tensions surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site and has since spread across Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza border.