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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.

The Palestinian, a resident of the northern town of Tulkarem, was wounded and evacuated to an Israeli hospital.

The victim, a man in his 20s, lived in a settlement in the northern West Bank, Samri said, without specifying which.

Following the incident, Jewish settlers descended on the area and began attacking Palestinian cars, pelting them with stones, an AFP photographer said.

Dozens of police were deployed and shut down the main road leading to Nablus.

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 the Israeli had died at the scene.

He confirmed the attacker was injured and taken to an Israeli hospital in "moderate to severe condition".

Raz said there had been a number of attacks at the same junction over the past few years, including a stabbing in January in which another Israeli was injured.

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

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 in Itamar settlement in the northern West Bank.