Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in West Bank

BEKAOT CHECKPOINT, West Bank Sat Jan 8, 2011 7:34am EST

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BEKAOT CHECKPOINT, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian brandishing a pipe bomb at a West Bank check point on Saturday, the army said.

An army spokesman said the man leapt from a taxi and ran toward the checkpoint holding the device, shouted in a threatening manner and refused calls to stop before being shot.

"As well as the pipe bomb, troops later found a second device on the man's body," the spokesman added.

The incident occurred at the same checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus where on Sunday soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man holding a glass bottle.

Violence in the occupied West Bank has largely tapered off in the past few years as a result of tighter security measures and cooperation between Israel and foreign-trained Palestinian police.

But tension has surged in the past week, coinciding with a deepening deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed a 65-year-old Palestinian in his bedroom during a pre-dawn raid to seize a Hamas suspect who lived in the same building, in what the army admitted was a mistake.

Last Friday, a Palestinian woman died following a protest against an Israeli barrier built across the West Bank. A local medic said the woman died after inhaling tear gas.

(Additional reporting by Mohammed Assadi and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem, Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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