Fresh violence hits West Bank amid Christmas celebrations

Israeli authorities said Thursday that three Palestinians were killed after they carried out or attempted to carry out attacks against Israelis across the West Bank.

The three separate incidents were the latest in a three month-long wave of Israeli-Palestinianviolence and came as revelers were gathering in the West Bank city of Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations.

In the first incident, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker approached the entrance to an industrial zone in the Ariel settlement and stabbed two security guards, wounding them moderately, before they shot and killed him.

Shortly afterward, the Israeli military said a Palestinian wielding a screwdriver was shot dead after he tried to stab security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron, a frequent flashpoint for violence. No Israelis were wounded. Later, in another incident, the military said a Palestinian was shot and killed after he rammed his car into soldiers, wounded one lightly.

The attackers’ identities were not immediately known.

Near-daily Palestinian attacks have killed 20 Israelis and an American student. Israeli fire has killed 123 Palestinians, 85 of them said by Israel to be attackers and the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli forces. On Wednesday, two Palestinian attackers were shot dead after they stabbed and killed an Israeli man. Another Israeli man died after he was apparently shot by Israeli police trying to subdue the attackers.

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