Clashes as Israeli army raids hometown of attackers

Clashes erupted between Palestinian residents and the Israeli military Thursday, as forces raided the northern West Bank hometown of three militants who had launched a shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem the previous day.

The Israeli military closed off roadblocks and checkpoints in and out of the town while soldiers prepared punitive measures to raze the homes of the three attackers.

Youths burnt tyres and hurled bricks and stones at the Israeli army vehicles.

At least four Palestinians were injured, including a 16-year-old boy who was hit by a military vehicle, said Mahmoud Kmeil, the mayor of the town of Qabatiya, near Jenin.

An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv would only say: "In accordance with the security situation, measures have been taken."

The mayor said that the town was completely closed off, with many unable to reach schools or workplaces.

On Wednesday three Palestinians, in a coordinated attack, opened fire and stabbed Israeli border policewomen at the Damascus Gate into Jerusalem's walled Old City, killing one and seriously injuring another.

Israeli officials said the border policewomen had foiled an even deadlier attack with multiple casualties, by shooting dead the three.

The officials viewed the attack as an escalation, because unlike previous knife attacks, the assailants were also armed with guns and explosives. 

Palestinian militants have launched scores of knife attacks in a wave of violence over the past four months.

More than 140 Palestinians from Jerusalem and the West Bank have been killed. Israel says the vast majority of the Palestinian dead were knife attackers, shot while stabbing or trying to stab civilians or security forces.

Twenty-seven Israelis have been killed in the attacks since early October.

Last update: Thu, 04/02/2016 - 12:45

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