Palestinian attacker shot dead after killing an Israeli in the West Bank | New
Violence in the occupied West Bank has escalated amid daily Israeli raids, including in Nablus and Jenin.
A Palestinian who shot dead an Israeli settler at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron has been killed by a security guard, according to medics and local media.
The shooting at the checkpoint near the settlement of Kiryat Arba, where a group of mostly right-wing Israeli settlers live, comes days before Israel holds its fifth election in less than four years and as violence escalates in the West Bank busy.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz identified the Israeli victim as Ronen Hanania, 49, while Palestinian media reported that 35-year-old Hebron resident Mohammad al-Jaabari was killed in the fatal shooting.
The Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip, claimed the slain Hebron gunman as its member.
Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency response service initially reported five injuries, including a 49-year-old Israeli who was left “unconscious with an upper body injury”.
A spokesman for Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem told AFP news agency that the man later died from his injuries.
The other Israelis suffered less serious injuries, the MDA said. A Palestinian, who was also injured in the shooting, was being treated at a hospital in the Hebron area, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said.
According to the Israeli army, “a terrorist fired live ammunition” near a checkpoint in Hebron, an occupied city in the West Bank where a community of extremist Jewish settlers lives.
“Soldiers are conducting searches in the area” for other suspects, the army said.
At least three Palestinians, including al-Jaabari’s brother, were arrested in Hebron, according to the Maan news agency.
Far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose Religious Zionism alliance is aiming for big gains in Tuesday’s election, claimed on Twitter that his home in Hebron was the target.
Israeli security forces did not confirm the allegation and Israeli media, citing security sources, reported that Ben-Gvir’s home in a settlement in Hebron was not targeted.
“Spiral” of bloodshed
The UN’s Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, warned on Friday that the occupied West Bank was “caught in a downward spiral” of bloodshed. This year is on track to be the deadliest for the territory in more than a decade.
More than 100 Palestinians, including fighters and assailants but also civilians, were killed across the occupied West Bank as Israel carried out near-daily raids.
The raids intensified following a series of attacks on Israelis that began in March.
Israeli operations have mainly been concentrated in the northern occupied West Bank, while Hebron in the south has seen less unrest.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid tweeted on Saturday that he was “praying” for the injured in Kiryat Arba.
“Terrorism will not defeat us,” said Lapid, who is currently caretaker prime minister but hopes to secure an independent mandate in Tuesday’s vote.
Around 475,000 Jewish settlers currently live in the occupied West Bank, in settlements considered illegal under international law, alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians.