AP/ PTI

Palestinian attacker opens fire at West Bank gas station, kills at least 4 people

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Jerusalem: A Palestinian attacker opened fire at a gas station near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday, killing at least four people and wounding several others, Israeli medics said, as violence continued to roil the occupied territory.

Israeli security forces said they shot the gunman and were still searching for other attackers near the Jewish settlement of Eli north of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The condition of the attacker was not immediately clear. Photos circulated of a man lying face-down in the street beside what appeared to be an M16 rifle.

The Israeli rescue service said it had evacuated two seriously wounded men, ages 20 and 38, to nearby hospitals for treatment. It said that four more people were wounded at the scene, three of them unconscious. The identities of the victims were not immediately clear.

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in fighting in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said as the death toll from clashes earlier in the city of Jenin rose to six. The fatalities were the latest in a surge of violence that has wracked the region.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said late Monday that 21-year-old Zakaria al-Zaoul was shot in the head in the town of Husan, west of Bethlehem. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that he was killed during clashes with the military.

The Israeli military said a suspect threw a firebomb at troops stationed along a West Bank highway near Husan. The troops responded with live fire and confirmed a hit, the army said.

Israel and the Palestinians have been gripped by months of violence, focused mainly in the West Bank, where at least 126 Palestinians have been killed this year.

Monday saw one of the fiercest days of fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday that 48-year-old Amjad Abu Jaas succumbed to wounds sustained in the gunbattle. That fatality brought to six the number of Palestinians killed in Monday’s fighting in Jenin, with over 90 wounded. Eight Israeli soldiers were also wounded, according to the army.

The fighting saw Israel use helicopter gunships in the West Bank for the first time in several years, and Palestinian militants detonated a large roadside bomb under an Israeli armored vehicle.

Israel has been staging near-nightly raids in the West Bank in response to a spasm of Palestinian violence early last year. Palestinian attacks against Israelis have surged during that time. Israel says most of the Palestinian dead were militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.

Palestinian attacks against Israelis have killed at least 20 people this year.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future independent state.

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