Israel: 2 Palestinians killed in attack on Israelis, clashes (w/video)

Palestinian demonstrators dressed as Santa Claus help an injured person in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Friday.
Palestinian demonstrators dressed as Santa Claus help an injured person in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Friday.
Published Dec. 19, 2015

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli police said two Palestinians were killed on Friday in confrontations and assaults on Israeli forces, the latest in three months of near-daily Palestinian attacks and violence roiling the region.

In one attack, a Palestinian assailant sped in his car toward Israeli forces who were controlling a riot in the town of Silwad, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

The Israeli forces took cover behind concrete blocks and fatally shot the driver, she said, adding that no Israelis were wounded.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the man as 20-year-old Mohammed Abdel Rahman Ayad from Silwad.

Also Friday, the military said troops killed a Palestinian at the border in the Gaza Strip who attempted to breach the border fence with Israel. The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified that man as Mahmoud Mohammed Saeed Alagha. The militant Hamas group later said Alagha was a 24-year-old member of the Hamas.

The military said the man was part of a crowd of 100 people who took part in "a violent riot" and attempted to damage the fence.

Earlier in the day in the West Bank, an assailant sped toward soldiers and police at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem, spokeswoman Samri said. She added that he got out of his car and started to charge the Israeli troops.

The attacker — a man in his 30s from the West Bank village Turmus Aya — was wounded in the leg and arrested, Samri said. No Israelis were hurt.

Since mid September, Palestinians have killed 19 Israelis in shootings, stabbings and vehicular attacks. At least 117 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, including 81 said by Israel to be assailants. The rest were killed with clashes.

Also Friday, Israel returned the body of Palestinian teen Hadeel Awwad to her parents, the military said. Awwad and her cousin attacked a Jerusalem pedestrian with scissors on Nov. 23, and a police officer shot both of them, killing Awwad.

Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has charged that police used excessive force in thwarting the attack. Police have opened an investigation into the shooting.