Israeli officer kills Palestinian suspected of stabbing attack

JERUSALEM, Sept 22 (Reuters) - An Israeli officer killed a Palestinian man suspected of carrying out a stabbing attack at a traffic junction between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli police said.

The suspected assailant got out of his car at a traffic light near the city of Modi'in in Israel, which borders the occupied West Bank, and began stabbing and firing pepper spray at passengers in nearby cars, police said.

A border police officer in plain clothes who was driving in the area saw the attack and fired several shots at the suspect, killing him, police added.

Paramedics at the scene treated eight people who sustained light wounds, five from pepper spray and three from superficial cuts, the Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance service said.

A spokesperson for the Islamist militant Hamas movement praised Thursday night's attack, the latest in a string of deadly incidents that have stoked fears of an escalation.

Since January, at least 90 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, have been killed in the occupied West Bank, mostly by Israeli forces. Israel intensified its raids in the spring following a spate of lethal street attacks by Palestinians that killed 18 people.

Reporting by Henriette Chacar in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Richard Pullin

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