JERUSALEM - An Israeli woman was stabbed to death by a Palestinian who was among three assailants to be shot dead following separate attacks Sunday, Israeli security forces said, with the latest flare-up of violence coming ahead of a visit to the region by Secretary of State John Kerry.
The woman, 21, was seriously wounded when a Palestinian attacked her with a knife in the West Bank before being shot and killed by soldiers nearby, the military said. Ofer Merin of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said "the young woman was stabbed numerous times in the head, chest, and the area of the heart." He said she died despite attempts by medics to save her.
The attack occurred at the Gush Etzion junction near Jerusalem, the scene of multiple Palestinian attacks against civilians and security forces over the last two months.
In an earlier attack, the military said, a female assailant pulled out a knife at the entrance to a military base and began approaching civilians. A West Bank settler leader, Gershon Mesika, said he veered off the road and struck her with his vehicle. A soldier then fired at her and killed her. Her father, Taha Qatanani, said that his 16-year-old daughter went to school as usual in the morning and that he heard about her death two hours later. "She talked about stabbing to her brother the day before but no one took her seriously. If she tried to stab she did what she wanted," he said.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, a Palestinian driving a taxi cab tried to run over Israelis east of Jerusalem, police said. After crashing his car, he emerged with a knife and tried to stab people, but was shot dead by a bystander before he could harm anyone. Israeli politicians have encouraged licensed gun owners to carry their weapons during the latest wave of unrest.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended citizens for being on "maximum alert." "I must say that we are showing such awareness, with considerable resourcefulness and courage, and this is deserving of all praise. We are still fighting and will continue to do so," he said at his weekly cabinet meeting.
Sunday's attacks came two days before Kerry is scheduled to arrive in an attempt to calm tensions stemming from a two-month wave of violence that shows no signs of dissipating. It will mark his first visit to the area to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in more than a year.