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Palestinian kills three Israelis before being shot dead

Israeli forces search the Palestinian village of Haris in the occupied West Bank on November 15 following an attack in which a Palestinian killed two Israelis
— Ariel (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

A Palestinian killed three Israelis in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, stabbing two men to death and knifing several others, then killing another with a stolen car before being shot dead himself, officials said.

The deadly rampage came hours before Israel swore in its new parliament, with far-right lawmakers poised to be members of the cabinet vowing a crackdown on Palestinian violence.

The Israeli army reported a "stabbing attack" near the Ariel Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank.

Ariel is one of the largest Israeli settler communities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

"A terrorist arrived at the entrance gate of the zone and stabbed civilians in the area," an army statement said.

Israeli emergency services cordon off one of the scenes of the stabbing and car-ramming rampage in which a Palestinian killed three Israelis and wounded several more before being shot dead

Israeli emergency medical service Magen David Adom said a 36-year-old man died from a stab wound, while a second man, who was critically wounded, died at the scene. Two other people sustained serious stab wounds.

The two dead were identified as Michael Ladygin and Motti Ashkenazi, 59.

The attacker then headed to "a nearby gas station and stabbed additional civilians," the army said, and stole a car and fled.

"The terrorist fled the gas station by driving a stolen vehicle... committed an intended car accident and rammed an additional civilian," the statement said.

The emergency service said a 50-year-old, later identified as Tamir Avihai, was killed as a result of the car ramming. He was buried on Tuesday evening in the West Bank settlement of Barkan.

Another man stabbed on the highway was taken to hospital in a serious condition, the emergency service added.

Tamir Avihai, 50, was killed as a result of the car ramming in the occupied West Bank

The army said a soldier then "neutralised" the attacker, adding that troops had launched a manhunt for a second individual suspected of involvement.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces as Mohammed Souf, 18, without providing further details.

An AFP journalist reported that the army later raided Souf's home in Haris, a village near Ariel.

- 'Despicable' -

Violence in the West Bank has soared since March, as Israel has launched near daily raids in response to a series of deadly attacks on Israelis.

Friends and family attend the funeral of Palestinian teenager Fulla al-Masalma who was shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday the day before she would have turned 16

On Monday, Israeli troops shot dead Palestinian teenager Fulla al-Masalma the day before she would have turned 16, saying that she had sped towards them at the wheel of a car.

Outgoing Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid sent his condolences to the bereaved families of Tuesday's attack victims, and said that while security forces have managed to dismantle large militant infrastructures, "we have to fight this battle every day anew."

The November 1 election saw Lapid and his allies lose their majority in parliament, with former premier Benjamin Netanyahu and his partners securing 64 of the 120 seats.

Bezalel Smotrich, co-leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, which is set to become a key partner in the coalition Netanyahu is putting together, said the attack was a "painful reminder to the most urgent topic on our table."

"We must bring back security to all Israelis," he said on Twitter.

European Union ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev condemned the "despicable ramming and stabbing attack", sending his condolences to the families of the dead.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967.

About 475,000 Jewish settlers currently live in the West Bank in communities considered illegal by most of the international community, alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians.