Two Israelis killed amid spate of attacks

The Palestinian attacker shot at people at a bus stop near a West Bank settlement

The Palestinian attacker shot at people at a bus stop near a West Bank settlement

Two Israeli soldiers have been shot dead by a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military says, amid an upsurge of attacks in the area.

Two people were also severely injured when the gunman fired at a bus stop. A hunt for the suspect is under way.

It took place near the Ofra settlement, where a separate shooting on Sunday by a Palestinian led to the death of an Israeli newborn baby boy.

Dozens of Israelis have been killed in such attacks in the past three years.

Israel earlier said it had found and shot dead two suspected Palestinian attackers – one who they said carried out Sunday’s shooting, and the other suspected of killing two Israelis in an attack on a factory in a West Bank settlement in October.

Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas has said it was behind those attacks.

A Palestinian driver who attacked a different bus stop in Ramallah later on Thursday was also shot dead, according to Israeli media.

The attacker stepped out of a car and shot at soldiers and civilians at a bus stop near Ramallah before fleeing towards the city, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said.

“There was massive fire, bullet after bullet, but not in bursts,” an eyewitness told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a Palestinian “wearing an IDF military uniform” who they said was involved in the incident has been arrested. It is not clear if this is the same individual as the gunman.

A seriously injured man and woman were both taken to hospitals in Jerusalem for treatment.

The Israeli army said it had closed all entrances and exits to Ramallah city in a bid to find the attacker.

Later, the IDF said it had “neutralised” a Palestinian who had attempted to ram his vehicle into a bus stop in Ramallah, injuring another Israeli soldier. Israeli reports said he had been killed by its security forces.

The bus stop shooting came just hours after Israeli security forces shot dead two Palestinians who they said were behind two recent high-profile attacks in the West Bank.

One of them was Salah Barghouti, 29, who was killed in an operation in a village north of Ramallah late on Wednesday, according to Israeli security forces. -BBC

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