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Israeli Troops Kill 3 Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza Clashes


Israeli troops gather at the scene of what an Israeli police spokeswoman said was a car-ramming attempt by a Palestinian at the West Bank checkpoint of Qalandia, near Ramallah, Dec. 18, 2015.

Three Palestinians were killed Friday in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza, the latest in three months of near-daily Palestinian attacks and violence roiling the region.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian driver who tried to ram them with his car in the town of Silwad, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The military said troops killed a second Palestinian at the border in the Gaza Strip who attempted to breach the border fence with Israel. A third man was also killed Friday, a traditional day of anti-occupation protest following weekly Muslim prayers, on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Israel maintains a no-go buffer zone near the Gaza fence in what it describes as a precaution against Palestinian infiltration or ambush attempts. The army said it discovered and defused two improvised explosive devices on the fence on Friday, according to Reuters.

Since September, 19 Israelis and an American student have been killed in stabbings, shootings and car rammings carried out by Palestinians. Israeli forces have killed nearly 100 Palestinians, mostly attackers, during the same period.

Israel recently resumed its policy of destroying the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks. The practice has been condemned as inhumane and ineffective by various international human rights groups.

Palestinians say the wave of violence is rooted in frustration over nearly a half-century of occupation, and they accuse Israel of using excessive force to suppress the unrest.

Israel says the current violence is due to a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, which is revered by Muslims and Jews.