World\Middle East

Palestinian gunman kills three Israeli security officers in West Bank

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-27 10:39

JERUSALEM - A Palestinian gunman killed three Israeli security officers and wounded another outside a West Bank settlement on Tuesday morning before he was shot dead, Israeli police said.

The shootout took place outside Har Adar, an upscale Jewish settlement northwest of Jerusalem, near the seam zone between Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri identified the assailant as a 37-year-old man from Beit Surik, a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem district that was rarely involved in a violent protest against Israel. The father of four children held an Israeli work permit, which allowed him to enter Israeli settlements.

At around 7:00 am local time (0400 GMT), he arrived with a group of Palestinian workers at the back gate of the fenced settlement, from which Palestinian laborers cross into Israel to do their daily work.

He raised the suspicion of border police officers who were guarding the settlement and they called him to stop, Samri said.

When the assailant realized that he was exposed, he pulled out a gun hidden under his shirt and opened fire towards the officers, killing three and wounding another, said Samri.

After the gag-order was lifted, it is revealed that the three killed were two security personnel from a private security company and a border policeman.

Another border police officer was wounded and taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem with serious injuries, said a spokesperson of the hospital.

Other border police officers opened fire at the shooter, who died of his wounds at the scene.

The assailant planned to carry out a larger attack against civilians at the settlement. "The quick action by the security forces stopped him from entering into Har Adar," Police chief Roni Alsheikh told journalists near the site.

Commenting on the attack, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the "brutal terror attack once again shows the daily frontline on which our security forces stand."

Israel "will continue to confront terror, and will reach all its perpetrators and supporters," the president said in a statement.

Since September 2015, violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis have claimed the lives of at least 293 Palestinians, 48 Jewish Israelis, two US nationals, a British tourist and two African asylum seekers.

Israel accuses the Palestinian National Authority of "inciting" the unrest. Palestinians say it is the result of 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, home to more than 5 million Palestinians.

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