A Palestinian woman was shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday after she allegedly tried to stab an Israeli soldier, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Israeli military said in a statement the woman had attempted to stab a border police officer at Tapuach Junction near the West Bank city of Nablus.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the woman as 19-year old Rahiq Yousef.
Israeli soldiers “shot the assailant, resulting to her death,” the statement said.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that when Birawi approached Israeli border guards stationed at the Tappuah junction — the Israeli term for the area around the checkpoint — they fired warning shots into the air. After she “ignored their directives and their calls for her to stop,” Birawi allegedly pulled out a knife, and Israeli forces opened live fire and “neutralized” her.
Al-Samri first said that the woman “seemingly” died, and confirmed her death a short time later.
The woman became the 224th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since a wave of violence spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last year.
Israel, for its part, says 42 Israelis have been killed over the same period.
The violence has been largely characterized by alleged, attempted, and actual small-scale attacks committed by Palestinians against uniformed Israeli soldiers or police, mainly using knives or similar weapons.
Rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, denouncing what they have termed as a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committing the killings.
Dozens of the alleged attackers have been shot at military checkpoints, included at least three who were shot dead at Zaatara.
Reports from Israeli media have claimed in the past that a number of Palestinians — particularly women — were killed or injured at checkpoints after they intentionally “provoked” Israeli forces to shoot them in order to commit suicide, with Israeli forces admitting in some cases that no weapons were found on the alleged attackers’ person after they were shot.
Wednesday’s killing came amid severe restrictions on Palestinian movement across the occupied territory over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and tensions surrounding holy sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the high holiday season last year were a main contributor to the uptick in violence.