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Israeli security forces inspect the scene of a Palestinian ramming attack near West Bank Maccabim checkpoint, on August 31, 2023. Image Credit: AP

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian rammed a truck he was driving into three Israeli soldiers near a checkpoint in the West Bank on Thursday, killing one before being shot dead, Israeli officials said.

Violence linked to the Israel-Palestinian conflict has surged since early this year, and Thursday’s attack comes a day after a 14-year-old Palestinian stabbed a civilian at a light rail station in Jerusalem.

The truck driver was a 41-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank with a work permit for Israel, Avi Biton, head of police central command, told reporters at the scene of the attack.

“The people he hit with his truck were soldiers.”

Police earlier said officers had “received a report about a hit-and-run incident near the Maccabim checkpoint.” The driver fled before being shot dead at another checkpoint a few kilometres (miles) away at Hashmonaim, west of Ramallah, they said.

Israel’s defence ministry said its security personnel at the Hashmonaim checkpoint were informed by the army that the truck was coming their way.

In a separate statement, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant offered his condolences to the family of the soldier killed and praised the security forces “for their determined action” that led to the killing of the attacker.

The Magen David Adom emergency service had earlier said three young men were hit by the vehicle, including one who was in a “critical” condition.

Thursday’s attack came hours after four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an improvised explosive device while securing a road for the passage of Jewish pilgrims to a holy site in West Bank city of Nablus.

One of the soldiers was moderately wounded, the others lightly hurt, the army said in a statement.

In Wednesday’s incident in Jerusalem, an Israeli border police officer who was travelling in a tram saw the attack as it happened and shot dead the teenager who was from east Jerusalem, a predominantly Palestinian area.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict so far has claimed the lives of at least 224 Palestinians this year.

At least 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian have also been killed, according to an AFP tally based on official sources on both sides.

They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, three members of the Arab minority.