Israeli Soldier Kills Palestinian Firebomb Thrower

The Israeli military announced Thursday that its soldiers had shot dead a Palestinian who threw firebombs at cars on a major highway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The military statement also said that Israeli soldiers opened fire on two suspects who were seen throwing firebombs near Beit Jala, a Palestinian town south of Jerusalem. The information provided stated that one suspect was shot and died from his injuries, while the others were detained.

The incident took place on a major highway used by Israelis near a West Bank settlement. There have been no details from Palestinian officials regarding the incident.

Earlier in the day, Israeli police said a Palestinian driver rammed and injured a member of the Israeli paramilitary Border Police at a key checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

They said officers opened fire on the vehicle, eventually causing it to hit a wall. The driver of the car was a 22-year-old youth from the West Bank city of Qalqilya. Police said the incident was a car attack.

Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks in recent years, but according to Palestinians and rights groups, some of the alleged car attacks are accidents. They accuse Israel of using excessive force in handling the cases.

In a separate incident, a Jewish settler attacked an Israeli military officer and a soldier with pepper spray near a settlement post. The attack was the latest in a series of recent attacks by settlers against Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the West Bank.

Most of the nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank live in small town-like, suburban-like formal settlements, but more radical settlers have erected dozens of homes that are illegal even under Israeli law.

The Palestinians and much of the international community view all settlements as illegal and an obstacle to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

More than 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank area live under Israeli military rule. The Palestinian Authority has limited autonomy in cities and towns. The settlers are Israeli nationals and are subject to Israel’s civil justice system. (ka/lt)

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