Israel and West Bank on edge as three dead in separate incidents highlight sky-high tensions

In the first incident, on Sunday morning, a 47-year-old woman was shot dead as she approached a checkpoint near the West Bank village of Husan. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the woman as Gadu Sbatine, a widow and mother of six children.

The Israeli army said soldiers ordered the woman, who she did not name, to stop as she approached the checkpoint. When she failed, the soldiers fired warning shots into the air, the army said. Video of the incident shows the woman breaking into a run as she moved forward, at which point the soldiers “shot into the suspect’s lower body,” the military said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the woman was taken to the hospital but died after losing large amounts of blood. The Israeli army says soldiers did not find a weapon on the woman. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh condemned the shooting, saying he held the Israeli government “fully responsible for the consequences of this heinous crime.”

Later Sunday, Israeli border police said a Palestinian woman who stabbed a police officer in Hebron had been shot dead. The incident took place near the holiest site in Hebron, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Mosque of Ibrahim. According to police, the officer received minor injuries as a result of the attack.

Tensions in Israel and the West Bank have been high for weeks following a series of attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli civilians that killed 14 people. Israeli soldiers responded by sweeping the West Bank.

On Saturday night, Israeli security forces raided the village of Yaabad, where they said the militant who killed five people last month lived in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak. The army said it “detained eight terrorist suspects and confiscated illegal weapons.” He also said he was attacked by local residents, including a suspect who “threw an explosive device” at the soldiers. The Palestinian Health Ministry said six people were injured in the clashes: one from a bullet and five from tear gas.
An Israeli soldier guards a passage through the separation barrier in Israel's West Bank on April 10.

Also overnight Sunday, a group of Palestinians damaged a site believed to be the burial site of the Prophet Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli officials said.

On Sunday evening in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, police said a Jewish man who tried to steal a weapon from a female soldier was “neutralized” by another soldier who was nearby. According to Israeli media reports, the man was shot dead. He reportedly had a history of mental illness.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government has responded to calls to make it harder for Palestinians to enter Israel illegally by announcing plans to build an additional 40 kilometers (25 miles) of what it calls a “junction line barrier” that separates Israel and the West Bank. . The new structure will be a concrete wall up to 9 meters (about 30 feet) high, the government said in a statement.

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