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Palestinian gunman kills three Israelis in West Bank

Three Israelis have been shot dead by a Palestinian at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli police say.

The gunman, a 37-year-old from a nearby village, was also shot and died later.

Police say he pulled out a gun as he waited to enter Har Adar along with Palestinian labourers and opened fire on police and security guards.

It is the latest in a wave of attacks on Israelis, mostly by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs, since late 2015.

No group has taken responsibility for the attack, although Gaza-based Palestinian militant organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad welcomed it.

The gunman was a father-of-four who had an Israeli permit to work in Jewish settlements along the boundary of the West Bank, Israel’s internal security agency said.

He came from the village of Beit Surik, about a mile east of Har Adar.

The area is about 18km (11 miles) north-west of Jerusalem.

Police said the attacker shot his victims at close-range. One other person was seriously injured.

The identities of the Israelis who were killed have not been released.

About 36,000 Palestinians have permits to work in Jewish settlements, where security to guard against attacks is tight.

The issue of settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians, who see them as an obstacle to peace.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Since October 2015, at least 50 Israelis and five foreign nationals have been killed in stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Around 300 Palestinians – most of them attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period. Others have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.

Source: BBC

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