Israeli forces shot dead three Palestinian cousins on Thursday night after they allegedly attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at the Gush Etzion junction in the southern occupied West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
An Israeli army spokesperson alleged that all three Palestinians were “armed with knives” and had attempted to “attack Israeli soldiers guarding the Gush Etzion junction.”
She said Israeli forces “thwarted” the attack and “responded to the imminent danger” by opening fire on the Palestinians.
While two of them were immediately confirmed dead, the Israeli army initially said that the third was being treated on site. However, an army spokesperson later confirmed he had succumbed to his wounds.
A spokesperson for Magen David Adom confirmed that no Israelis were injured in the attack.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent said that their ambulance crews “were not allowed to get close to the scene.”
The three Palestinians were later identified as cousins Ahmad Salim Abd al-Majid Kawazba, Alaa Abed Muhammad Kawazba, and Muhannad Ziyad Kawazba, all from the town of Sair northeast of Hebron.
The Gush Etzion junction — the main entrance to the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc — has seen a number of deadly encounters since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October last year.
Another member of the Kawazba family in Sair — 18-year-old Ahmad Younis Kawazba — was shot dead at the site on Tuesday after he reportedly stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli soldier at the junction.
– Read more: 3 Palestinians shot dead after alleged Gush Etzion stabbing attempt – MAAN