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Palestinian terrorist who shot Israeli soldier arrested in overnight raid

Israeli security forces stand in a street during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron, on October 30, 201
Thomas Coex (AFP)
Palestinian youth who admitted to stabbing Israeli at West Bank supermarket turns himself in

Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency said they had arrested overnight a 16-year-old Palestinian from Bani Naim village east of Hebron, who admitted carrying out a shooting in the Palestinian village of Beit Anon near Hebron, and handed over the rifle he used.  

An Israeli soldier was seriously injured in the attack.

Two Israeli teenagers were also shot and wounded in a separate attack on Friday at the flashpoint site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, the army said.

Twitter/@IDFSpokesperson

A second Palestinian man who used Facebook to confess to stabbing an Israeli outside a supermarket in the West Bank handed himself in to the Palestinian Authority earlier in the day. 

Bara’a Issa, a resident of the Jerusalem area and an activist in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, posted his video confession on the internet on Friday evening.

The arrests came after Israeli forces on Saturday blocked exits from the southern West Bank city of Hebron as they launched a manhunt for the assailants.

Around 4,000 Jewish worshippers were visiting Hebron on Friday and Saturday as part of a religious pilgrimage centered around the biblical matriarch Sarah, who according to tradition was buried in a field which eventually became part of the city Hebron.

On Saturday, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP there was "ongoing activity to locate the perpetrators of yesterday's attacks".

Israeli forces were searching Palestinian homes in and around Hebron as well as setting up new checkpoints, an AFP reporter said.

The army also blocked off the northern entrance of Hebron with mounds of dirt. The eastern entrance has been sealed off for days.

Activists in the Youth against Settlements group in Hebron said they were "besieged" in their Hebron office by settlers accompanied by soldiers.

Palestinian TV journalists also said "settlers" disrupted their broadcasts, following which Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in downtown Hebron, an AFP reporter said.

Two Palestinians were wounded by live fire, Palestinian medics said.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem on Friday criticized the army for carrying out "immoral and unlawful" measures which it said hinder Palestinian freedom of movement in Hebron, including closing off the Tel Rumeida neighborhood.

"These steps constitute collective punishment of residents of Hebron who are suspected of nothing and are forced to suffer serious disruptions in their daily lives," the group said.

Hebron has 200,000 Palestinian residents with approximately 500 Israeli settlers living in the center, protected by an army-patrolled buffer zone. The situation is a constant source of tension.

Friday's unrest broke a brief lull in the wave of deadly attacks and violent protests throughout October that raised fears of a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israel.

Most of it had occurred in and around Hebron and mainly involved Palestinian stabbing attacks.

There were no clashes or attacks in the city on Saturday as troops searched for the assailants.

But an army spokeswoman said a soldier was slightly wounded by "an accidental discharge of a bullet near a military position in Hebron".

Tunisians rally in support of Palestinian 'uprising'

Hundreds of Tunisians, including political figures, gathered in the capital Saturday for a demonstration called by the Islamist party Ennahda in support of the Palestinian "uprising" against Israel.

The demonstrators assembled under close police surveillance in the city's main thoroughfare, Bourguiba Avenue, waving Tunisian and Palestinian flags as well as that of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Ennahda MP Sahbi Atig said: "This is essentially a symbolic action to show our support for the Palestinian cause and uprising."

Houcine Jaziri, who had been in an Ennahda-led coalition government, said: "We are all united behind the Palestinian cause."

Violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since October 1 has killed 73 Palestinians -- around half of them alleged attackers -- an Arab-Israeli and nine Israelis.

Attacks and violent protests throughout October raised fears of a new Palestinian uprising, but violence had waned in recent days.

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