Three Israelis killed in stabbing attack at West Bank settlement – local officials

Three Israelis killed in stabbing attack at West Bank settlement – local officials
Three Israelis have been killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack at the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank late Friday, rescue services report.

"A short while ago, a terrorist infiltrated a home in Neve Tsuf and stabbed 4 Israelis. 2 died and 2 were wounded. The assailant was shot," Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Twitter. 

While initial reports indicated that the attack left two people dead and one injured, the wounded person subsequently succumbed to his injuries, AP reports citing Israel's rescue service.

The attacker was identified as a Palestinian, according to local media citing officials. Israel Radio identified him as a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah.

The attacker was shot by Israeli security personnel which were dispatched to the scene.

It remains unclear if the attacker was still alive after being shot.

The turbulent region has, since 2015, experienced a surge in stabbing attacks by Palestinians, targeting Israeli military and civilians. The attacks often end with a fatal shooting of the attacker by the IDF. More than 200 Palestinians – the majority believed to be the perpetrators – and dozens of Israelis have been killed in the attacks.

There have been, however, reported cases of excessive force by Israeli soldiers, with one of the most highly-publicized cases being that of IDF Sergeant Elor Azaria. He was found guilty of killing an already neutralized Palestinian attacker, but filed an appeal with Israel's military court.