Israeli troops kill knife-wielding Palestinian in West Bank raid: military

Slideshow ( 3 images )

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who the military said tried to attack them with a knife during a raid on Tuesday to detain suspected militants in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 32-year-old Mohammad Al-Salahe was “executed in cold blood” by soldiers in the courtyard of his home, in front of his mother. It identified him as a former prisoner in Israeli jails.

The Israeli military said an assailant, armed with a knife, attempted to stab Israeli soldiers during an operation to arrest suspects in Al-Faraa refugee camp near the Palestinian city of Nablus.

“Forces called on the attacker to halt and upon his continued advance fired towards him, resulting in his death,” the military said in a statement. Palestinian health officials said Salahe was struck by six bullets.

Israeli forces regularly carry out raids in the West Bank against suspected militants and arms caches, and the operation on Tuesday did not appear to come in response to a Palestinian truck-ramming attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Thirty-seven Israelis and two visiting Americans have been killed in a wave of Palestinian street attacks that began in October 2015.

At least 232 Palestinians have been killed in violence in Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the same period. Israel says that at least 158 of them were assailants while others died during clashes and protests.

Reporting by Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Editing by Dominic Evans