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Authorities Impose Curfew in Hebron Following Attack on Israeli Settlers

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Israeli authorities clamped a curfew on the West Bank town of Hebron over the weekend following the stabbing of an Israeli soldier by a Palestinian youth.

The stabbing occurred last Friday night when a group of Israeli settlers had gathered for prayers outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which has been closed since a Jewish settler killed 29 Palestinians praying there in February.

A Palestinian youth, Nader Abu Shkedem, 20, of Hebron, rushed the crowd with a large knife. He was shot and killed by Israeli troops after he stabbed an Israeli soldier.

According to Israel Television, the assailant was a member of the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement, a group militantly opposed to the Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.

The 21-year-old soldier, whose name was not immediately available, was stabbed in the back and shoulder. He was rushed to the Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, where he was later reported to be in a satisfactory condition.

Among the settlers praying at the Tomb was Rabbi Moshe Levinger, the founder of a Jewish settlement in Hebron in 1968.

Levinger later claimed he was the target of the attack, but said that he was always accompanied by soldiers who served as his bodyguards because he has long been a target for potential assailants.

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