An unarmed Palestinian man has been shot and killed by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli military and Palestinian media.
Israeli settlers opened fire and killed Khaled Nofal, 34, on Friday near the Palestinian village of Ras Karkar, northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The Israeli military referred to the incident as a “terror attack”, but a spokesman was unable to explain how it came to that conclusion, given no weapons were found on the suspect or in his car.
The military said the suspect fought with a guard, who was also unarmed, before being shot and killed by another guard and a third individual.
It said the incident took place in Sde Efraim farm, which does not appear on maps and is likely one of several small illegal outposts set up by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
When Israeli officials use the term “terror attack” they are nearly always referring to attacks carried out by Palestinians against Jews.
Radi Abu Fkheideh, the head of the local council in Ras Karkar, identified the deceased as Nofal, the married father of a four-year-old boy.
He said the army stormed Nofal’s home in the village early on Friday and arrested his father. He had no information about the circumstances of Nofal’s death.
Many Palestinians took to social media to condemn Nofal’s killing, blaming the incident on an Israeli settler.
The young man "Khaled Maher Nofal" from the village of Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah, was shot dead by an Israeli zionist settler on top of Jabal Al-Raysan, west of Ramallah this morning..#Israelicrims#savePalestine pic.twitter.com/w0z0Xcl66e
— Ahmad Matar 🇵🇸✌ (@AhmadMatar21) February 5, 2021
There have been a series of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks against Israelis in recent years, mostly carried out by lone Palestinians with no apparent ties to armed groups.
Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, in 1967. The Palestinians want these areas for their future state.
Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, mainly in large, developed settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. Hardline settlers have established a number of smaller outposts without official authorisation.
The Palestinians view the settlements a crucial obstacle to peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state, a position with wide international support.