JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military said a car driven by a Palestinian deliberately rammed two Israeli soldiers, killing one and injuring the other, in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
The death brings to 39 the number of Israelis killed in a wave of Palestinian street attacks that began in October 2015, while at least 242 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian Territories over the past 18 months.
The driver was detained after the incident near the Jewish settlement of Ofra, the army said in a statement. Witnesses told Israeli media that as he approached a bus stop, he accelerated and directed the vehicle at two soldiers waiting there.
Israeli government development of settlements in the West Bank has been a focus of friction with Palestinians and contributed to the breakdown of peace talks. Israel disputes the view that the settlements are illegal, and argues it has biblical and historical ties to the land.
Israel says at least 162 of the Palestinians killed had launched stabbing, shooting or ramming attacks. Others died during clashes and protests.
Israel has accused the Palestinian leadership of inciting the violence. The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, denies incitement and charges that in many cases, Israel has used excessive force in thwarting attackers armed with rudimentary weapons.
Photos from the scene of Thursday’s incident showed the driver, bound, blindfolded and guarded by a soldier, seated next to his damaged car, in the undergrowth behind the bus stop. The vehicle had Palestinian licence plates.
Five days ago, Israeli paramilitary police officers shot dead a Palestinian after he stabbed three Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Writing by Jeffrey Heller; editing by Ralph Boulton; Editing by Hugh Lawson