Relatives and friends gather around the body of Yotam Ovadia during his funeral in Jerusalem, Friday, July 27, 2018. Israel's military on Friday searched the West Bank village of a Palestinian teen-ager who broke into a settlement home and stabbed three Israelis, including one who later died from his wounds. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Troops sent to West Bank after Israeli killed in attack

July 27, 2018 - 2:08 pm

ADAM, West Bank (AP) — Israel's military on Friday searched the West Bank village of a Palestinian teenager who broke into a settlement home and stabbed three Israelis, including one who later died from his wounds.

The military said it detained four Palestinians for questioning and set up security checkpoints at entrances to Kauber, the assailant's village, north of Jerusalem. The attacker, identified as Mohammed Tareq Dar Yousef, 17, by family members was shot and killed at the scene Thursday night.

Blood stains were still visible outside the home of the Israeli victim Friday as relatives and friends gathered nearby.

Daniel Nadav said he rushed to his neighbor's home after hearing screaming. He said he saw 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia "covered in blood ... walking slowly toward a car and then falling." Nadav said he saw "the terrorist stabbing another neighbor." He said the attacker then ran toward him with a knife and tried to stab him.

Nadav said he kicked the attacker in the leg and then got out of his way before another neighbor arrived and shot him dead.

Ovadia, a father of two young children, later died in a hospital.

Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, issued a statement praising the attack but did not claim responsibility. Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called it a "brave operation that responds to the daily ugly crimes the occupation commits against our people."

Forces measured the attacker's house ahead of its planned demolition, the military said. Israel typically demolishes the homes of Palestinian attackers calling it a deterrent measure, but critics consider the policy collective punishment.

Israelis have faced a wave of Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings, on civilians and soldiers over the past two years but these types of assaults have declined recently.

The settlement located about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Jerusalem is also called Geva Binyamin. Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and has since built dozens of settlements there.

Much of the international community views the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel says the fate of settlements must be resolved through peace talks.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement saying "the best answer to terrorism" is Israeli settlement in the West Bank, adding that he will advance the building of hundreds of housing units in Adam in the coming weeks.

After Muslim noon prayers Friday, some worshippers at the most sensitive holy site in Jerusalem threw stones and shot fireworks at Israeli officers stationed nearby, police and Palestinian witnesses said. They were the first such clashes in about a year.

Police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

A few dozen Palestinian stone throwers barricaded themselves in the mosque and police later entered and detained several of them.

Police said they arrested 24 Palestinians and four officers were injured in the unrest.

The incident occurred at a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews that is ground zero for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The walled compound is home to both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. It is Islam's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Jews revere the hilltop compound as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the nearby Western Wall, is the holiest place where Jews can pray.

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