JERUSALEM • A Palestinian woman rammed her car into an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank yesterday and was shot dead by troops, the Israeli military said.
A wave of heightened Palestinian-Israeli violence, now in its sixth month, has shown no sign of abating and has raised concern about further escalation.
Yesterday's attack coincided with a United Nations announcement that Israeli forces had demolished dozens of structures, including a school, in the northern West Bank this week, displacing 36 Palestinians that included 11 children.
The attack took place at a main junction near the Israeli settlement bloc, Gush Etzion. "The soldier was wounded and evacuated for medical treatment in hospital. Forces on site responded to the imminent threat and shot the attacker, resulting in her death. A knife was found in the assailant's vehicle," the Israeli military said.
Gush Etzion is a major hub for hitchhiking soldiers and settlers on the road between Hebron and Jerusalem, said the Middle East Eye (MME) online news.
The woman has not been officially named, although local news sites suggested she was a 34-year-old from Husan, a West Bank town west of Bethlehem, MME reported.
Since October, Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings have left 28 Israelis and a US citizen dead. Israeli security forces have killed at least 173 Palestinians, 115 of whom Israel says were assailants, while most others were shot dead during violent protests.
Palestinian leaders say many of the attackers acted out of desperation in the absence of movement towards the creation of an independent state. Israel says they are being incited to violence by their leaders and on social media.
US Vice-President Joe Biden, who starts a five-day Middle East trip today, will have separate meetings next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April 2014.
Mr Biden's visit comes as the White House considers how it could help restart the moribund peace process before President Barack Obama leaves office early next year.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE