Israel settler dies in West Bank stabbing attack

An Israeli settler was killed on Tuesday by a knife-wielding Palestinian in a stabbing attack at a bus stop in the northern West Bank, the army and police said.

"The Palestinian suspect stabbed an Israeli sitting at a bus stop. He died," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP, adding that the incident took place near Tapuah junction which lies south of the city of Nablus.

A shootout took place when Israeli border police sped to the area and fired towards the attacker, she said.

"He grabbed the (victim's) weapon and fired towards the border police force that was in the area. They fired back and neutralised him," Samri said.

Police named the victim as Eviatar Borovsky, saying he was a father of five in his 30s from the nearby hardline settlement of Yitzhar.

The Israeli army confirmed details of the incident and said the attacker had also been injured and evacuated to an Israeli hospital in "moderate to severe condition."

Palestinian security sources identified him as 23-year-old Salam Mohammed al-Zaghal from the northern town of Tulkarem who had been released last month after completing a three-year spell in an Israeli jail.

Following the incident, Jewish settlers began attacking Palestinian cars in the area, pelting them with stones, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

They also hurled rocks at a passing school bus, causing some light injuries, security sources said.

Israeli police shut down the main road leading north to Nablus, the correspondent said.

Speaking to reporters, Captain Barak Raz, the military spokesman for the West Bank, said it was the first such deadly incident in 18 months.

"After about a year and a half of quiet we have an incident in which a Palestinian male attacks an Israeli, stabs him and takes his gun," he said, indicating there had been several attacks at the same junction, including a stabbing in January.

"It reinforces our assessment that the threat posed through terrorism is still very present and clear," he said.

The last time Israelis were killed in the West Bank was in September 2011 when Palestinians threw stones at a car, causing the driver -- a Jewish settler -- to lose control and crash, killing him and his infant son.

Six months before that, a couple and their three young children were stabbed to death in a brutal attack, which took place in Itamar settlement which is also close to Tapuah junction.