A Palestinian man died on Tuesday after being stabbed in an apparent scuffle with Israeli settlers in the central West Bank, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry and an Israeli rights group said.
The incident happened near the Palestinian village of Iskaka in the West Bank, adjacent to the large settlement of Ariel, south of Nablus.
The Israel Police’s West Bank division said it had opened an investigation following a clash between Israelis and Palestinians. He indicated that a Palestinian had been stabbed, but it is not known by whom.
“Police forces have arrived at the scene from where an injured Palestinian man was evacuated in serious condition, apparently from a stab wound,” police said, citing medics.
“At this stage, the identity of the attacker is unclear,” police said. No arrests were made immediately.
Palestinian health authorities identified the deceased Palestinian as 22-year-old Ali Hassan Harb.
Harb’s cousin, Firas Naim, told AFP that Israeli security forces were present when Harb was killed.
Naim said he and his family members, including Harb, went to their village land after hearing that settlers were setting up tents there.
Once there, Naim said, they were confronted by Israeli forces and settlement security guards, who fired shots into the air.
“After shooting in the air, the settlers attacked… We were right there, and a settler came and stabbed him with a knife here. [on the side of the body] for no reason,” said Naim, whose clothes were covered in blood.
Rights group Yesh Din said Harb was with his parents on private land near Ariel. “Settlers arrived at the scene and tried to pitch a tent. Friction developed between the sides and the settlers left the area. Immediately after, soldiers arrived at the scene, and later the settlers returned,” he said in a statement.
Yesh Din said that after the settlers returned, violence broke out again between the parties, “during which a settler took out a knife and stabbed the young man to death”.
Local authorities said the group of Israeli settlers said they were attacked in the area by a large group of about 40 Palestinians with stones and clubs between the settlements.
The emergency service of Rescuers Without Borders, an Israel-based branch of United Hatzalah, said “rioters stole bags and equipment” from the Israelis. He added that no Israelis were injured in the incident.
Domain name : pic.twitter.com/mpD7hGUWvb
— ynet עדכוני (@ynetalerts) June 21, 2022
There has been an increase in settler violence in recent years, and soldiers are sometimes seen on standby when they perform. Soldiers are legally allowed – in some cases even obliged – to intervene to prevent violent attacks, regardless of their nationality. The army generally prefers the police to deal with settler attacks and arrests, but the police are not as present in the West Bank.
In October, Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a statement urging the military to act “systematically, aggressively and without compromise” against settler violence directed against Palestinians, militants and security forces, who also sometimes came into the crosshairs. However, no apparent repression followed.
AFP contributed to this report.
#Palestinian #stabbed #death #fight #settlers #West #Bank