A knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist infiltrated a settlement south of Hebron on Friday morning, and was killed on the spot by residents before he could carry out an attack.

Israel Defense Forces soldiers guarding the Beit Haggai settlement sighted the terrorist at around 7 A.M.

The infiltrator entered the settlement with a knife and tried to stab several residents before he was confronted by an armed resident and shot, according to the rescue service. The military said one Israeli suffered a light stab wound.

The local alert squad arrived on the scene shortly after and shot the man to death.

The Palestinian, described by Israeli media as being in his 20s, had "planned to carry out a terrorist attack" in Beit Haggai, a military spokeswoman said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from armed Palestinian factions.

Several hours after the incident, the Israeli military handed the assailant's body over to Palestinian medics. His identity was not immediately known.

"Most Israeli settlements are protected by fences, but residents of Beit Hagai have refused to build a fence because to do so would show the Palestinians that they are afraid," said Yair Lior, a spokesman for the settlement. God performed a miracle for us today, Lior said."

Troops and police closed roads nearby and were searching the area, the military said.

A Beit Haggai settler who gave his name as Uziel told Army Radio that he and a neighbor were on a security patrol when they spotted the Palestinian walking among the houses.

"My friend asked him who he was, and the man drew a knife," Uziel said. "My friend took my gun and killed the terrorist."

Earlier this month an ax-wielding terrorist killed Shlomo Nativ, 13, and lightly wounded Yair Gamliel, 7, after infiltrating the Gush Etzion settlement of Bat Ayin.

A local man fought the terrorist and managed to pry the ax away from him, but the assailant managed to escape and has not yet been caught.