Israeli army says an assailant armed with a knife tried to stab an IDF soldier who was guarding a bus stop in West Bank settlement of Ofra

Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, the army said.

Palestinian assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israel Defence Forces soldier guarding a bus stop near the community of Ofra, a statement in English said.

Responding to threat, forces at the scene shot the assailant, resulting in his death, it said.

The Palestinian health ministry named him as Maen Abu Qaraa, 23, from an area north-west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

On Thursday night a Palestinian gunman opened fire at soldiers near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem, lightly wounding one of them, an army statement said.

Forces are searching the area for the perpetrator, who fled the scene, the military said.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks began a year ago, but the violence has significantly declined in recent months.

Since October last year, the violence has claimed the lives of 238 Palestinians, 36 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out attacks, according to Israeli authorities. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes, while some were killed in air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Most of the attacks acted alone.

Israel says the violence is driven by a Palestinian campaign of incitement. Palestinians say it is rooted in frustrations from Israels nearly 50-year occupation of the West Bank.

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Palestinian who tried to stab soldier shot dead by Israeli troops in West Bank