Israel, West Bank on the edge while three deaths in separate accidents highlight skyrocketing tensions

In the first incident on Sunday morning, a 47-year-old woman was shot at as she approached a checkpoint near the West Bank village of Husan. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has identified the woman as Ghada Sbatin, a widow and mother of six children.

The Israeli army said the woman, who didn’t name it, had been told soldiers to stop as she approached the checkpoint. When she failed to do so, soldiers fired warning shots in the air, the army said. Video of the incident appears to show the woman running as she advances, at which point, the army said, the soldiers “fired at the suspect’s lower body.”

The Palestinian health ministry said the woman was taken to hospital but died after losing large amounts of blood. The Israeli army claims that the soldiers found no weapons on the woman. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh condemned the shooting, saying he holds the Israeli government “fully responsible for the consequences of this heinous crime”.

Two dead, many wounded in the Tel Aviv shooting

Later Sunday, Israeli border police said a Palestinian woman who stabbed a police officer in Hebron was shot dead. The incident took place near the holiest site in Hebron, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. The officer was slightly injured in the assault, police said.

Tension in Israel and the West Bank has been high for weeks after a series of attacks by Palestinian gunmen on Israeli civilians, which killed 14 people. In response, Israeli soldiers conducted large-scale operations in the West Bank.

On Saturday night, Israeli security forces carried out a raid on the village of Yaabad, which they said was the home of the gunman who killed five people last month in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak. The military said it had “approved eight suspects involved in terrorist activities and confiscated illegal weapons”. He also claimed that he was attacked by locals, including a suspect who “threw an explosive device” at the soldiers. The Palestinian health ministry said six people were injured in the clashes, one from a bullet and five from tear gas.
An Israeli soldier guards an opening in Israel's West Bank separation barrier on April 10.

Even overnight Sunday, a site believed to be the burial site of the Prophet Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus was damaged by a group of Palestinians, Israeli officials said.

On Sunday evening, in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, police said a Jewish man who tried to steal a gun from a female soldier was “neutralized” by another soldier nearby. Israeli media claim that the man was shot dead. He had a history of mental illness, according to reports.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government has responded to calls to make illegal Palestinian entry into Israel more difficult, announcing plans to build another 40 kilometers (25 miles) of what it calls the “seam line barrier” – which separates Israel. and the West Bank. The new construction will be a concrete wall up to 9 meters (about 30 feet) high, a government statement says.