Fifth attack in Israel in uptick in violence

According to the army, a suspected Palestinian stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli military officer in a West Bank settlement

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A suspected Palestinian stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli military officer in a West Bank settlement Sunday morning before being shot by forces at the scene, the army said.

“A terrorist carried out a stabbing attack in Efrat and wounded an officer,” the military’s Twitter account said. There was no immediate word on the condition of the perpetrator, who was being evacuated to hospital for treatment.

The Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem said the soldier was stabbed in his armpit.

It was the fifth incident of Palestinians attacking Israeli security forces and civilians since Friday after a three-week lull in a nearly year-long wave of violence.

Since October, 228 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, one Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed in ongoing violence, according to an AFP count.

Israeli forces say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since capturing it in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The uptick in violence was a reminder of persistent tensions that continue to alarm the international community and came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the two-state solution was “further than ever” from becoming reality.

Previously there had not been an attack in three weeks.

International powers have criticized Israel’s continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, with more than 500,000 Israelis now living in communities the international community considers illegal, as well as incitement to violence by Palestinian leaders.

“Despite warnings by the international community and the region, leaders on both sides have failed to take the difficult steps needed for peace,” Ban said on Friday.

“Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end,” he added.

Ban also hailed former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founding fathers who suffered a major stroke this week.

The veteran Israeli leader won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo peace accords.

The United Nations has been struggling to find a way to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been halted since a US-led diplomatic effort collapsed in April 2014.

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