Israeli settler kills Palestinian in occupied West Bank

Israeli military says Palestinian was armed, but the man’s family say they do not believe he had any affiliation with armed groups.

An aerial view shows the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, June 29, 2020
Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, are built widely across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem [File: Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters]

An Israeli settler has shot dead a Palestinian man near an illegal settlement in the northern occupied West Bank, officials have said.

The Israeli military said that the Palestinian had been armed with knives and an explosive device, and had entered a farm on Friday near Karnei Shomron, which is near the Palestinian city of Qalqilya.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian man had been killed by an Israeli settler, and named the man as 21-year-old Abdulkarim Badie Sheikh, but did not provide any further details about the incident.

The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, said that Israeli soldiers then entered the nearby town of Sanniriya, where Sheikh was from, and “ransacked” several houses, including that of Sheikh’s family.

Relatives of the man killed said that he was religious but were not aware of any membership in Palestinian armed groups. They said the military was still withholding his body.

The Israeli military said separately that its forces had raided Nilin, a town near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, overnight and opened fire on a crowd throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, hitting one person, without specifying whether they were killed or wounded.

Palestinian officials did not immediately note any casualties from the raid in Nilin.

On Thursday, a Hamas gunman opened fire in Tel Aviv, wounding three people, one of them critically, before being killed by police and passersby. The group said the attack was a response to Israel’s killing of three Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank earlier that day.

During the raid in Nilin, the Israeli military said it arrested two relatives of the Hamas gunman and earmarked his home for demolition.

Palestinians and rights groups condemn home demolitions as collective punishment, and illegal under international law.

Over the past year, Israeli forces have made thousands of arrests in the West Bank and killed more than 200 Palestinians, including fighters and civilians. More than 40 Israelis and foreign nationals have died in attacks by Palestinians over the same period.

Israeli raids have become deadlier this year since a new far-right government came into power, empowering settler groups in the occupied West Bank, who recently rampaged through the town of Huwara in an attack that has been labelled a “pogrom”.

Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, house between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, despite Palestinians seeking the land as part of a future state.

Source: News Agencies