Palestinian attacker 'neutralized' by Israeli soldiers, army says

Israeli troops stand guard at the scene of the security incident near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, January 17, 2023. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers on Tuesday shot and "neutralized" a Palestinian who opened fire on them in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said. It would not say if the attacker was killed.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man died of his wounds and that his body was being held by the Israeli military. Palestinian officials told Reuters the man was a Palestinian security officer in the West Bank.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority security services wasn't immediately available for comment.

The West Bank, among areas where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen a surge in violence since Israel stepped up military sweeps in response to a spate of street attacks in its cities last year.

"The assailant fired at the soldiers, who responded with live fire and neutralized him," the Israeli military said, adding that no soldiers were wounded.

Before Tuesday's incident, 13 Palestinians had been killed in raids since the start of this year, including four teenagers, according to Palestinian officials. No Israeli soldiers have been killed in the operations.

A Palestinian who stabbed a Jewish settler in the West Bank was shot dead in the same period.

Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Nidal al-Mughrabi, Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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