Cyprus Mail

Two Palestinians die in attacks on Israelis ahead of Kerry visit

A Palestinian girl tried to stab Israelis and was fatally run down by a Jewish settler in the West Bank on Sunday while, in a second incident in the Israeli-occupied territory, a Palestinian was shot dead after an attempted attack, Israeli police said.

A surge in often spontaneous and leaderless Palestinian street violence since Oct. 1 has challenged Israel’s security system and alarmed the United States, whose Secretary of State John Kerry is due to come and sound out both sides this week.

Eighty-two Palestinians in all have been killed, some while carrying out attacks and others in clashes with Israeli forces, while 18 Israelis and an American student have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings.

The bloodshed has been driven in part by Muslim agitation over stepped-up Jewish visits to a contested Jerusalem shrine, and by long-deadlocked talks on a U.S.-sponsored peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Sunday, a female Palestinian tried to stab two Israeli women at a junction popular with Jewish settlers near the West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli police and military spokespeople said. A Jewish settler leader who was driving by rammed her with his car, and she was also shot by Israeli troops at the scene.

The dead Palestinian was 16, from Nablus, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian man tried to ram a taxi into Israelis at a West Bank junction near Jericho and then got out with a knife in hand to stab them, Israeli police said.

An armed Israeli at the scene shot him dead, police said. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the man’s death but did not immediately provide more details on him.

“We are facing terrorism by individuals. This is not the terrorism of organisations, this is terrorism by individuals, sometimes with knives, incited mainly by social media,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday.

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

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

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