JERUSALEM — An Israeli woman was killed and her attacker was one of three Palestinians shot dead Sunday as a new round of violence flared up ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
In the West Bank’s Etzion Junction, an attacker stabbed a 21-year-old Israeli woman, who later died of her wounds at the hospital, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The attacker was fatally shot at the scene, according to the Israeli Army.
In an earlier attack, the military said a woman pulled out a knife at the entrance to a military base and began approaching civilians at the spot. A local West Bank settler leader, Gershon Mesika, said he noticed the ruckus and veered his vehicle off the road and hit the woman. A soldier on the scene then fired at her and killed her.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the alleged attacker who was killed as 16-year-old Ashrakat Qatnani.
The army did not say how close the woman had been to carrying out an attack or release a video of the incident.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, a Palestinian driving a taxi cab tried to run over Israelis east of Jerusalem, police said. After crashing his car, he came out with a knife and tried to stab people but was shot dead by a bystander before he could harm anyone. Israeli politicians have encouraged licensed gun owners to carry their weapons during the wave of unrest.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended citizens for being on "maximum alert."
"I must say that we are showing such awareness, with considerable resourcefulness and courage, and this is deserving of all praise. We are still fighting and will continue to do so," he said at his weekly Cabinet meeting.
Sunday's attacks came two days before Kerry is scheduled to arrive in an attempt to calm tensions stemming from a two-month wave of violence that shows no signs of slowing. It will mark his first visit to the area to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in more than a year.
On Saturday night, a Palestinian attacker stabbed four people in southern Israel. Following hours of an extensive manhunt, police forces found the 18-year-old Palestinian hiding late Saturday in the yard of a home close to where he carried out his stabbing spree in the southern town of Kiryat Gat.
Over the past two months, Palestinian attacks have killed 17 Israelis, mostly in stabbings, while 86 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Of them, 54 are said by Israel to be attackers and the rest were killed in clashes with Israeli troops.
The wave of violence began over tensions surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site and has since spread across Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza border.
Israel says the current spate of violence is due to a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement surrounding the sensitive holy site. The Palestinians counter by saying it is a result of frustration from nearly a half-century of occupation and they accuse Israel of using excessive force to suppress the unrest.