January 25, 2017 / 7:42 PM / 4 years ago

Israeli troops shoot Palestinian driver who rammed West Bank bus stop

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian motorist who drove his car into a bus stop near a settlement in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Israeli army said.

The Palestinian health ministry did not immediately release details of the dead man but Palestinian social media posts said he was a resident of the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah.

No one was hurt as a result of the ramming, the army said.

“A Palestinian rammed a vehicle into a bus stop at the entrance to Kokhav Ya’akov, south-east of Ramallah... In response to the immediate threat, forces fired at the attacker, resulting in his death,” a military statement said.

In a second incident in the West Bank, soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian who fired at them with machine gun in a drive-by shooting. He was wounded and taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment, the soldiers were unhurt, the army said.

A wave of Palestinian street attacks, including vehicle rammings, that began in October 2015 has largely slowed in recent months but two American tourists and 37 Israelis have been killed in the assaults, a fraction of the number of Palestinians who have been killed over the same period.

On Jan. 8, in the deadliest Palestinian attack in Jerusalem for months, a Palestinian rammed his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers on a popular promenade, killing four.

At least 235 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. Israel blamed the violence on incitement by the Palestinian leadership.

Palestinians have accused Israeli police and soldiers of using excessive force against many of the attackers. In some cases, Israel has opened investigations into whether that was the case.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, denies that allegation, and says assailants have acted out of frustration over Israeli occupation of land sought by Palestinians in peace talks that have stalled since 2014.

Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland and Lisa Shumaker

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