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Palestinian woman shot after alleged stabbing attempt

Israeli troops have shot a Palestinian woman after she allegedly attempted to stab a pedestrian in the West Bank.

The military said the woman was taken to a Jerusalem hospital, and the media said she was in a critical condition.

Military officials did not say how close the woman got to her target in t he incident in Hebron, a frequent flashpoint of violence during a three-month outburst of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Several hundred Israeli settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves in the city, which is home to 270,000 Palestinians.

Israel says the violence is fuelled by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement. The Palestinians say it is the result of frustrations rooted in Israel's near 50-year occupation.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities say they have opened an investigation into a police officer who fatally shot a 16-year-old Palestinian girl during a stabbing attack in Jerusalem last month.

In the November 23 incident, the 16-year-old and a 14-year-old girl stabbed a 70-year-old man with scissors before they were shot. The younger girl was wounded.

The Justice Ministry said the officer was questioned over claims that he shot the older girl again after she had already been halted.

It said the officer said he believed the girl still posed a threat.

Palestinians have accused Israel of using excessive force during a three-month wave of violence. Israel says its tactics are a legitimate response to stabbings and other attacks.

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