Military: Palestinian who charged at troops shot dead

Sunday, January 9, 2011

JERUSALEM -- Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to throw explosives at a West Bank checkpoint on Saturday, the military said.

The Palestinian militant arrived at a checkpoint in the Jordan Valley and charged at the soldiers while wielding a pipe bomb and yelling "Allah akbar," or "God is great," in Arabic. The military said soldiers ordered the Palestinian to stop, then opened fire after he ignored them.

Another Palestinian was shot at the same checkpoint a week ago after charging the position with a glass bottle. The military said soldiers initially thought he was carrying a bomb and are investigating the case.

Later Saturday, a mortar attack from Gaza wounded two Thai workers, one seriously, in southern Israel, the military said.

Violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has declined since Israel's offensive there two years ago. The campaign aimed to end years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, but rocket fire and border clashes still occur occasionally.

The military said 240 projectiles were fired in 2010, a dramatic drop from the pre-operation numbers.

Saturday's mortar fire comes a day after an Israeli soldier was killed and four others wounded by friendly fire after a gunbattle broke out with Palestinian militants along the Gaza border.

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