Israeli borderguards take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on October 22, 2015
Israeli borderguards take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on October 22, 2015 © Hazem Bader - AFP
Israeli borderguards take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on October 22, 2015
AFP
Last updated: October 23, 2015

Israel soldier wounded in West Bank stabbing, attacker shot: army

A Palestinian stabbed and lightly wounded a soldier in the occupied West Bank on Friday before Israeli forces shot and wounded the assailant, the army said.

"An assailant stabbed an IDF soldier during operational activity adjacent to the security fence in Gush Etzion," a Jewish settlement bloc south of Jerusalem, an army statement said.

"The force responded, firing towards the assailant."

A military spokeswoman told AFP the soldier stabbed was a Bedouin tracker who had opened a gate to enable Palestinians to harvest their olive trees.

Palestinian security forces identified the assailant as Mussab Ghanimat, 17, from the nearby village of Sureif.

The hospital treating the soldier said he was stabbed in the shoulder and in light condition. A spokeswoman for the hospital treating Ghanimat said he was in moderate condition and conscious.

There has been a spate of stabbings this month -- mostly by young Palestinians -- against soldiers, police or Israeli civilians.

On Thursday, two men from Sureif stabbed a man in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh before being shot. One of them was killed and the other wounded.

Since October 1, at least 49 Palestinians and one Israeli Arab have been killed, including alleged attackers. Eight Israelis have been killed in attacks.

One Israeli Jew and one Eritrean have also been killed after being mistaken for attackers.

Gush Etzion, or the Etzion Bloc, stretches from Jerusalem to near the flashpoint city of Hebron, a focal point of recent violence. On Thursday, a Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli soldier in the city before fleeing.

Also Friday Israeli police said they have lifted age restrictions for the main weekly prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday, for the first time in weeks.

The restrictions on male worshippers have been imposed on Fridays since mid-September when repeated clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police erupted at the flashpoint site.

"For the moment, no age limitations on worshippers' entry," a police spokeswoman said in a statement.

The restrictions had meant only men over the age of 40, 45, or 50, depending on the decision taken, were allowed to enter the mosque compound in east Jerusalem that is Islam's third-holiest site.

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