Israeli army: Palestinian kills Israeli woman in West Bank

A Palestinian broke into a West Bank settlement home and fatally stabbed an Israeli woman before fleeing Sunday

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A Palestinian broke into a West Bank settlement home and fatally stabbed an Israeli woman before fleeing Sunday, touching off a massive night manhunt, the Israeli military said.

The attack occurred hours after another Palestinian was shot dead by soldiers after trying to attack them with a knife, it said.

The latest incidents come amid a four-month wave of violence that Israel says is driven by Palestinian incitement and the Palestinians say is rooted in frustration at decades of living under Israeli occupation.

In the later attack, the Palestinian slipped into the Otniel settlement, broke into the woman’s home and killed her before fleeing the scene, the military said. Israeli police identified the slain woman as Dafna Meir and said she was a mother of six in her late 30s.

Otniel is located near Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city and a frequent flashpoint of violence. Residents of the settlement hid in their homes Sunday as Israeli forces blocked roads and lit the sky with flares while searching for the assailant.

The military said no soldiers were harmed in the earlier incident, which took place near a base south of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Palestinian health officials identified the assailant as Wissam Qasrawi, 21, from Mesilyeh village near the northern town of Jenin.

Also on Sunday, Israeli police canceled a meeting at the Hakawati Theater, the Palestinian national theater in east Jerusalem. Theater board member Ibrahim Deabis said staff planned to discuss its finances with Palestinian Authority Culture Minister Ehab Bseiso.

“We were surprised because this is not the first meeting like this in Jerusalem,” Deabis said. “The Israelis are different now.”

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said he instructed police to shut down the meeting because he learned the Palestinian Authority planned to sponsor an event at the theater. Erdan said such a move would be “a violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel.”

Israel does not allow the Palestinians to conduct what it considers political activity in east Jerusalem. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the eastern section of the city seized in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel briefly shut down Hakawati Theater in 2013 over similar complaints.

The last four months have seen near-daily Palestinian attacks that have killed 25 Israelis and an American student. Some 145 Palestinians have been killed, of whom about 100 are said by Israel to have been attackers. The rest died in clashes with Israeli security forces.

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