Palestinian teenager in critical condition after trying to stab Israeli soldiers

In this Sept. 27, 2017 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony marking 50 years since Israel captured the West Bank and other territories in the 1967 Mideast war, in Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank. Gush Etzion junction, next to a major Israeli settlement in the southern West Bank, has been the site of a series of violence lately. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Palestinian teenager in critical condition after trying to stab Israeli soldiers

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian rammed his car into two Israeli civilians in the occupied West Bank on Friday before trying to stab soldiers and being shot, the Israeli army said.
An army statement alleged that the attacker drove his car into the two Israelis near the Gush Etzion junction in the southern West Bank, leaving them both injured.
“The assailant proceeded by exiting the vehicle, armed with a knife, and attempted to stab (Israeli) soldiers,” it added, saying he was shot and “severely injured” before harming anyone.
The Palestinian assailiant and one of the wounded were evacuated to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said the Palestinian was 17 and in critical condition.
Since a wave of violence broke out in October 2015, at least 308 Palestinians or Arab Israelis as well as 51 Israelis and seven foreigners have been killed, according to an AFP count.
Gush Etzion junction, next to a major Israeli settlement in the southern West Bank, has been the site of multiple attacks during that time.
Violence has subsided significantly in recent months.


Netanyahu faces snap election calls after defense minister quits

Updated 13 min 18 sec ago
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Netanyahu faces snap election calls after defense minister quits

  • Avigdor Lieberman quit on Wednesday over what he described as the government’s too-soft policy on cross-border violence with Palestinian militants
  • The loss of the five seats of Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu faction leaves Netanyahu with control of just 61 of the 120 seats in parliament

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced calls on Thursday from his coalition partners to hold an early election, a day after the defense minister’s resignation left the government with a razor-thin majority.
Avigdor Lieberman quit on Wednesday over what he described as the government’s too-soft policy on cross-border violence with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
The loss of the five seats of Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu faction leaves Netanyahu with control of just 61 of the 120 seats in parliament, raising the prospect that a scheduled November 2019 election would be brought forward.
Lieberman’s resignation takes effect 48 hours after being handed in, which he did early on Thursday. Each coalition partner will then have the power to bring down the government.
To avert a crisis, Netanyahu has been holding talks with ministers in an effort to stabilize the government.
Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who heads the centrist Kulanu party, said he told Netanyahu in their meeting that the responsible step to take would be to establish a new and stable government.
“The best thing for Israel’s citizens and economy is to hold an election as soon as possible,” Kahlon said in a statement. His call was echoed by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri who heads the ultra-Orthodox Shas faction.
Adding to the pressure, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the far-right Jewish Home party, has demanded the defense brief by given to him.
Both Lieberman and Bennett, who compete with Netanyahu’s Likud for right-wing voters, have spoken in favor of harsh Israeli military action against Gaza’s dominant Hamas Islamists.
Israel has fought three wars in Gaza since Hamas took over the enclave in 2007.
“I asked the prime minister yesterday to appoint me defense minister to fulfil one goal only — that Israel start winning again,” Bennett said at a conference near Tel Aviv.
Jewish Home said on Wednesday that without the defense brief, there would be no point in keeping the government together.
However Bennett did not repeat this in his remarks on Thursday nor did he render an explicit ultimatum to Netanyahu, with whom he is due to meet on Friday.
It was unclear whether Netanyahu would opt for an early election.
Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption, and speculation has been rife that he may bring the ballot forward in order to win a renewed mandate before Israel’s attorney-general decides whether to indict him.
A poll published on Wednesday by Israel’s Hadashot television news showed Likud falling by one seat from 30 to 29 after months of surveys that have shown it gaining power. Only 17 percent of respondents were happy with Netanyahu’s Gaza policy.