Palestinian opens fire in Israeli settlement near Jerusalem, wounding 4 before being killed

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Maale Adumim (West Bank):  A Palestinian gunman opened fire in an Israeli settlement east of Jerusalem on Tuesday, wounding at least four people before being shot and killed, Israeli police said.

The shooting outside a shopping mall in the sprawling Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, in the occupied West Bank, was the latest in the most violent stretch of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the territory in nearly two decades.

The Palestinian assailant, dressed as a security guard, was shot and killed by an off-duty Israeli police officer who had heard gunshots and rushed to the scene.

The Israeli police said the attacker wounded four civilians, who were in light to moderate condition.

Fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank intensified early last year when Israel launched near-nightly raids into Palestinian areas in the West Bank in response to a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

The violence has spiked this year, with more than 150 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

Israel says most of those killed have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the raids and others not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.

At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis during that time.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.

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