One of the other soldiers, who noticed the Palestinian holding a knife, opened fire and injured him severely. He later died of his wounds while paramedics attempted to evacuate him to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment. None of the soldiers were hurt.
The patrol the soldiers were conducting in the Kasba mosque is a routine one, carried out every Friday. Military sources say that according to preliminary reports the troops acted according to protocol and prevented a stabbing attack.
The incident took place just days after Sergeant-Major Ihab Khatib was stabbed to death by a Palestinian security official at Tapuach junction, also in the West Bank.
Military sources say the two events show Palestinians have begun to carry out individual attacks, unrelated to terror organizations. They say some of the attackers are not acting out of ideology, but rather personal motives related to problems in the Palestinian territories.
"Our forces are well-prepared and wary of such attempts," one official said. "This is a difficult challenge because these terrorists are just civilians who within moments take out a knife and attempt an attack."
After the attack Palestinians threw stones at a group of settlers in Hebron, and the settlers responded by throwing stones and breaking a number of windows.
Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said following the events, "We will not turn the other cheek. We are not in Bil'in, where soldiers are attacked and they are silent. Every Arab who attacks will be given his dues."