JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli woman died on Tuesday of wounds suffered in a stabbing attack in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank a day earlier in which two Palestinian assailants were shot dead, police said.
The incident pointed to an emerging pattern of attacks inside West Bank settlements and prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to order preparation of what a spokesman said would be a “comprehensive and detailed plan” to protect them.
Police said the 24-year-old woman died in a Jerusalem hospital. Another woman stabbed in the assault in the settlement of Beit Horon sustained moderate injuries.
Police said a security guard shot and killed the two assailants, who were caught on a surveillance camera trying to storm into Beit Horon’s grocery store as its owner used a shopping cart to block their entry.
It was the latest Palestinian attack in an almost four-month long surge of violence that has raised concern of wider escalation, a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided. It followed three stabbings last week inside settlements carried out by Palestinian teenagers, according to Israeli authorities.
Many of the attacks on Israelis at the start of the bloodshed occurred in Jerusalem and other cities. But much of the violence has shifted to the West Bank, where settlers live adjacent to Palestinian population centres.
Since the start of October, Israeli forces have killed at least 151 Palestinians, 97 of them assailants according to authorities. Most the others have died in violent protests. Almost daily stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians have killed 26 Israelis and a U.S. citizen.
Many of the Palestinian assailants have been teenagers. The identities and ages of the alleged attackers on Monday were not immediately released.
On Saturday, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, who according to an Israeli policewoman “had fought with her family and left home with a knife and intended to die”, tried to stab a security guard at a West Bank settlement and was then shot dead by him.
On Jan. 17, an Israeli mother of six was stabbed to death at her home in a West Bank settlement and a 15-year-old Palestinian was arrested for the attack. A day later, Israeli troops shot and wounded a 17-year-old Palestinian who had stabbed and wounded a pregnant Israeli woman in a settlement.
The bloodshed has been fuelled by various factors including frustration over the 2014 collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the growth of Jewish settlements on land Palestinians seek for an independent state.
Reporting by Jeffrey Heller