Settlers incensed over teen’s slaying rampage in Palestinian towns


Al-Mughayyar: The Armed Jew settle down Palestinians blocked roads, damaged property and clashed with Palestinians around towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, doctors and witnesses said, following the death of an Israeli teenager in a suspected terrorist attack on Saturday.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a 17-year-old Palestinian named Omar Hamed died hours after being wounded by gunfire from a settler in the village of Beitin near Ramallah. There was no immediate Israeli comment.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, at least 20 other Palestinians were injured. Israel's best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, said one of its photographers was attacked by settlers, some of whom wore Israeli army uniforms.
Israeli officials said they were beefing up security forces to reduce flare-ups, concerned about a possible escalation of violence as the Gaza war enters its seventh month.
Friction between settlers and Palestinians in several locations between the city of Ramallah and northern Nablus began on Friday when a 14-year-old Israeli went missing in the area. His body was found on Saturday, the army said.
Calling the killing a “terrorist attack”, Israel said Palestinian suspects were being pursued. In an oblique reference to the boy's fellow residents, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Israelis not to get in the way of security forces.
But witnesses and municipal officials quoted by Palestinian news agency WAFA said settlers blocked the entrances to two Palestinian towns and threw stones at passing cars. Wafa quoted officials as saying that some of the attackers opened fire with live ammunition.
The Palestinian Civil Emergency Service said that settlers set one of their cars on fire and fired at its crew members in the village of al-Mughayyar, near Ramallah.
Footage of cars and houses engulfed in flames circulated on social media. Reuters could not immediately authenticate the video.
In a statement, the Israeli military said dozens of Israelis and Palestinians were injured in the clashes, some of which included gunfire. It was not mentioned who fired the shots. Palestinian officials and doctors said that unlike the settlers, the settlers were unarmed.
On Friday, settlers entered a village and set fire to houses and cars. one person died in it AngerPalestinian doctors said, although it was unclear whether he was shot by Israeli forces or settlers.
Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian group that has been fighting Israeli forces on a mission to crush its militants in Gaza, issued a statement on Saturday urging Palestinians in the West Bank to fight against what it described as “settler militias.”
Although Israeli ground troops have largely withdrawn from Gaza this month, airstrikes continue as well as incursions into al-Nusirat, the center of the enclave. Doctors said five Palestinians were killed there on Saturday.
Violence was escalating in the West Bank even before the Gaza war began with Hamas's surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7. This has escalated since then, with an increase in Israeli raids and Palestinian street attacks.
The West Bank is one of the areas where Palestinians are demanding a state. Most countries around the world consider Israeli settlements illegal, which Israel disputes.

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