JERUSALEM — Israeli troops on Saturday shot dead a Palestinian motorist who allegedly tried to ram his car into a group of soldiers patrolling the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli soldiers and media.
The incident occurred near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, home to the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in the occupied territory since 2016.
In a brief statement, the army said the soldiers opened fire when the motorist tried to run over them. Israeli media said the driver was killed. There was no way to immediately verify the account.
Palestinian assailants have carried out dozens of attempted stabbing and ramming attacks in recent years. But Palestinians and human rights groups say Israeli troops often use excessive force and, in some cases, have fired at people who posed no threat.
Israeli troops have stepped up their activities in the northern West Bank since a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel last spring. Several attackers came from the area.
Some 90 Palestinians were killed in the crackdown. Israel says many were militants or local youths who threw rocks and firebombs at the troops, although several civilians also died.
Earlier this week, Palestinian security forces, which coordinate their activities with Israel, clashed with young Palestinians in Nablus. The incident has brought to light the growing ranks of young Palestinians who see no end in sight to Israel’s 55-year military occupation and see the Palestinian Authority as a vehicle for corruption and collaboration with Israel.
Israeli officials say they are on heightened alert for violence ahead of the Jewish New Year, which begins Sunday evening.