Gili Cohen
March 8, 2012 - 1:00am

A Palestinian man was shot and thought to have been killed by Israel Defense Forces on Thursday after stabbing a soldier in a West Bank village near Hebron.

The incident took place in the village of Yatta during an operation carried out by soldiers belonging to the Kfir infantry brigade, geared at arresting Khaled Mahmara, who was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange swap.

A preliminary investigation of the incident claimed that, while IDF soldiers searched Mahmara's home, after already arresting him, two Palestinians assaulted the force stationed outside the house, stabbing the soldier in the neck.

The soldier, who was moderately wounded in the attack, shot four bullets at his assailants, killing one and seriously wounding the other. The soldier was then evacuated to Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

IDF forces arrived at the scene in an attempt to contain any further escalation of the incident.

In response to Thursday's events, Likud MK Danny Danon called the stabbing "a heinous terror attack," saying it was "an example to the Palestinians' culture of terror."

"IDF soldiers are in the right and they must continue to make sure, using any means possible, that the safety of Israeli citizens will be kept," Danon added.

Earlier Thursday, Palestinians demanding the release of a hunger-striking detainee have clashed with Israeli troops at a West Bank crossing into Jerusalem.

Soldiers fired tear gas and aimed a water cannon Thursday at about 50 women marching in support of Hana Shalabi, who has gone without food for 22 days. One woman was knocked down, and Palestinian teens threw rocks at the soldiers from behind the women's march.

Shalabi was arrested Feb. 16, four months after being freed in a prisoner swap with Israel. She is being held without formal charges in what Israel calls administrative detention.

In Gaza, about 500 women marched for Shalabi.

Another administrative detainee went without food for more than two months to protest the practice. Israel said it would release him next month, and he stopped his strike.


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