Jerusalem: A Palestinian policeman stabbed and killed an Israeli soldier in the north of the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Army said, the first Israeli fatality this year in the Middle East conflict.
"The (soldier) was sitting in his vehicle with his window open when the terrorist pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the chest," an Army statement said.
After being stabbed the soldier tried to drive away but lost control of his jeep, the Army said.
A civilian security guard then ran over the attacker with his car, lightly wounding him, the statement said. Afterwards soldiers arrested the suspect.
The Army and Palestinian security officials identified the attacker as Mohammed al-Khatib, a police officer from a village near the West Bank town of Jenin.
Israeli troops later raided Khatib`s house "as part of the investigation”, the Army said.
The Army jeep, its interior soaked with blood, lay overturned in a ditch near the site of the attack, a major junction in the West Bank.
The soldier, identified as a member of Israel`s Druze minority, died on the way to hospital, the Army said.
"The IDF regards this incident with great severity, and will operate to bring all those involved in the attack to justice," the statement said.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned the attack.
"We condemn this incident, which contradicts Palestinian national interests and Palestinian Authority efforts as well as commitments," he said.