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Israeli Woman Stabbed to Death and Three Palestinians Killed in West Bank

An eight-week-old wave of bloodshed showed no signs of dying down after a series of incidents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday.

by Reuters and VICE News
Nov 22 2015, 6:16pm

Photo by Jim Hollander/EPA

An Israeli woman was stabbed to death and three Palestinian attackers were killed in a series of incidents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Sunday, police said, as an eight-week-old wave of bloodshed showed no signs of dying down.

A surge in street violence since October 1 has challenged Israel's security system and alarmed its main ally the United States, whose Secretary of State John Kerry is due to visit the region this week.

A total of 83 Palestinians have been killed, some while carrying out attacks and others in clashes with Israeli forces, while 19 Israelis and an American student have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings, and car rammings.

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In the Etzion bloc of Jewish settlements, a Palestinian stabbed and killed a 20-year-old Israeli woman, an Israeli police spokesman said. A military spokesman said the assailant was shot and killed.

Earlier, a Palestinian teenager was killed while she was trying to stab two Israeli women at a junction popular with Jewish settlers, police said. She was run down by a Jewish settler and shot by security forces.

In a further incident, a Palestinian tried to ram a taxi into Israelis at a West Bank junction near Jericho and then got out with a knife in his hand to stab them, before an armed Israeli at the scene shot him dead, police said.

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The Palestinian government said in a statement that Israel was carrying out unlawful killings and "accusing every victim of holding a knife" or ensuring a knife was dropped at the side of alleged attackers.

The bloodshed has been driven in part by conflict over stepped-up Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound. Known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the compound is one of the holiest sites in both Islam and Judaism. Frequent visits to the site by Israelis, many ultra-nationalist Jews, has become a source of concern for many Palestinians, who fear that the decades-old arrangement guaranteeing exclusive Muslim prayer is being threatened.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking earlier in public remarks to his cabinet, said Israel was facing "terrorism by individuals" that was largely unorganized and stoked mainly by social media.

The US State Department said Kerry would begin his November 22-24 Middle East visit in Abu Dhabi, after which he would come to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

A senior US official said Kerry would discuss ways of trying to stem the violence but would not try to renew negotiations on a state that Palestinians seek in territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

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