JERUSALEM, March 2 – Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinian teens who had attacked an Israeli settler at his home in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the military said, as a wave of heightened violence entered its sixth month.
“There were two young guys, teenagers, terrorists, at my door, dressed in dark clothes and holding wooden clubs,” the Israeli man, Roee Harel, from the Eli settlement near the Palestinian city of Nablus, told Army Radio.
He said the two began beating him before he managed to push them out of the house, and he also found a knife at the door.
Soldiers who rushed to the scene shot the two Palestinians, a military spokeswoman said. “Upon the significant threat to the people of the community, forces shot the attackers, resulting in their death,” the military said in a statement.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said the two were both 17, from the adjacent village of Qaryout.
Since October Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings have killed 28 Israelis and a U.S. citizen. Israeli security forces have killed at least 172 Palestinians, 114 of whom Israel says were assailants, while most others were shot dead during violent protests.
The violence has raised concern of further escalation a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided. The Palestinians and international powers have said Israel has often used excessive force against assailants, many of them youths.
Israel has rejected those allegations, saying it has been preventing lethal attacks on civilians and security forces.
Palestinian leaders say many Palestinian attackers have acted out of desperation in the absence of movement towards creation of an independent state. Israel says they are being incited to violence by their leaders and on social media.