Israel says it shoots dead Palestinian woman trying to stab Israelis in West Bank

Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian woman as she prepared to carry out a stabbing attack in the West Bank on Sunday, the military said, in the latest flare-up in two months of violence.

The military said the woman pulled out a knife at the entrance to a military base and began approaching civilians at the spot. A local West Bank settler leader, Gershon Mesika, said he noticed the ruckus and veered his vehicle off the road and hit the woman. A soldier on the scene then fired at her and killed her.

The army did not say how close the woman had been to carrying out an attack or release a video of the incident.

It came a day after a Palestinian attacker stabbed four people in southern Israel. Following hours of an extensive manhunt, police forces found the 18-year-old Palestinian hiding late Saturday in the yard of a home close to where he carried out his stabbing spree in the southern town of Kiryat Gat. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said he was likely working there unlawfully.

Over the past two months, Palestinian attacks have killed 17 Israelis, mostly in stabbings, while 85 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Of them, 53 are said by Israel to be attackers and the rest were killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

The wave of violence began over tensions surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site and has since spread across Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza border.

Israel says the current spate of violence is due to a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement surrounding the sensitive holy site. The Palestinians counter by saying it is a result of frustration from nearly a half-century of occupation, and accuse Israel of using excessive force to suppress the unrest.