JERUSALEM (Reuters) - One of four Israelis shot in the occupied West Bank on Monday by a suspected Palestinian gunman has died of his wounds in hospital, officials said on Tuesday.
The night-time attack on a road outside a Jewish settlement was not claimed by any Palestinian faction. Israeli officials said it appeared to be part of a surge in so-called “grassroots” violence by Palestinians taking up arms on their own initiative.
Israeli media said the dead man was a 26-year-old settler. The other three Israelis suffered less serious wounds.
In a separate incident on Tuesday, Israeli guards opened fire on a man at a West Bank checkpoint, wounding him, after he ran at them shouting “God is great” in Arabic and ignored warning shots, a police spokesman said.
The man’s identity was not immediately clear. Witnesses said police searching him found an Israeli identity card, suggesting he might be from Israel’s 20 percent Arab minority or a Palestinian from Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.
One witness disputed the police account of the incident, telling Reuters that the man was shot without provocation.
“He was coming through the checkpoint, he was raising both his hands very naturally,” she said. “They (Israelis) were shouting at him and he seemed not to have heard them and they fired at him right away.”
More than a year after U.S.-sponsored peace talks broke down, violence has simmered in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, where Palestinians seek statehood.
Yoram Cohen, director of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service, said in a parliamentary briefing on Tuesday that since 2012 the number of “grassroots” Palestinian attacks had increased by 50 percent annually.
Writing by Dan Williams and Ammar Awad; Editing by Crispian Balmer