Israeli killed when hit by Palestinian vehicle near Hebron
IDF attempting to determine whether Israeli was intentionally hit near Hebron; rocket, mortar shell hit Gush Katif.
An Israeli was killed Monday night after being hit by a Palestinian taxi near the West Bank city of Hebron.
Israel Defense Forces soldiers at the scene opened fire on the Palestinian driver and killed him after he hit the Israeli at a checkpoint near the village of Halhoul, located north of Hebron.
The Israeli was seriously wounded by the vehicle's impact and died a short time later.
IDF sources said they were attempting to determine whether the Israeli man was intentionally struck by the Palestinian vehicle but believe this was likely the case.
Witnesses said the taxi driver initially slowed, and then accelarated prior to striking the Israeli. The taxi driver, 28, was a resident of Hebron. He was not known to have been a member of any Palestinian militant organization.
The IDF sent large reinforcements to the area and together with the Shin Bet security force immediately began checking the background of the driver to establish whether it was likely that he had been involved in a terrorist act, as appeared from the incident. They are also investigating other possibilities.
The death was the first Israeli conflict fatality since five Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv nightclub on February 25.
Elsewhere in the West Bank on Monday evening, Palestinians handed a 13-kilogram explosive belt over to IDF troops at a Nablus-area checkpoint. Israeli sappers were working to safely detonate the explosives, Army Radio reported.
There were a series of Palestinian attacks on Monday in the southern Gaza Strip.
Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket and a mortar shell Monday night at settlements in the Gush Katif region.
Monday morning, Palestinians opened fire on IDF positions adjacent to the Neveh Dekalim settlement. There were also two shooting attacks along the Gaza-Egypt border.
There were no casualties in any of these incidents.