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Palestinian dies, another shot with tensions high in West Bank

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A Palestinian died during an Israeli army operation in the southern West Bank today as he handled a makeshift explosive, while troops shot a woman who allegedly tried to stab a soldier.

Both incidents occurred in the Hebron area with tensions running high ahead of the Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha holidays and after three days of clashes rocked Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound last week.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the Palestinian man was killed by an explosive device he intended to toss at a military vehicle. Residents provided a similar account.

Palestinian security officials however said he was shot dead by Israeli troops in the village of Dura near Hebron. They named him as Dia al-Talahmeh, 21.

The army spokeswoman said a patrol had been deployed to clear stones blocking a road outside Hebron.

“The soldiers heard an explosion and during a search of the sector they found the body of a Palestinian killed by the explosive device he intended to throw at one of our vehicles,” she said.

Separately today morning, Israeli troops shot and wounded a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint near the centre of Hebron, witnesses said. The Israeli military said she had attempted to stab a soldier.

“An attack was thwarted when a Palestinian attempted to stab an (Israeli) soldier at a military position in Hebron,” an army statement said.

“(Israeli) forces responded, fired towards the perpetrator and identified a hit.”

A string of incidents between the army and Palestinians in the Hebron area had also occurred yesterday, residents said.

Tensions have been running high across the West Bank, including Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, ahead of the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday which begins at sundown.

The Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday begins tomorrow evening and continues until Sunday.

Israel has deployed thousands of police in Jerusalem and is closing it off from the West Bank.