Palestinian killed by Israeli settler in West Bank: Palestinian ministry

RAMALLAH (AFP): A Palestinian was stabbed to death on Tuesday by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, said the Palestinian ministry of health.

The man was “stabbed directly in the heart by a settler”, the ministry said in a statement, identifying him as Ali Harb, 27, from the village of Iskaka.

Palestinian witnesses said Harb had been working his land near a Jewish settlement when a group of settlers attacked him.

The witnesses said security guards from the settlement then fired at Palestinians who were trying to reach the scene.

The Israeli police said they had received reports of an altercation between Palestinians and Israelis near the central West Bank settlement of Ariel.

“Police forces arrived at the scene, where a seriously wounded Palestinian was taken to hospital, having been apparently stabbed,” the police said.

The police said the incident was being investigated, and that “the identity of the assailant is still unclear”.

Israel seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967.

Since then, nearly half a million Israelis have moved into settlements that most of the international community regard as illegal.

Settlers are widely accused of committing violence against Palestinians.

Israeli authorities, including security forces and the justice system, have been criticised for turning a blind eye to settler violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli rights group B Tselem has documented more than 600 violent incidents by Israeli settlers against Palestinians since the year 2020, including nearly 200 physical assaults.

The Gaza Strip s rulers Hamas condemned Tuesday s deadly stabbing.

The killing was “an extension of the dirty war waged by the settlers against our people” and a result of Israeli policy that permits settlers “to practise organised terrorism”, said the Palestinian Islamist movement.

On Sunday, a Palestinian worker was shot dead by Israeli forces while crossing a security barrier in the West Bank.

The deaths come amid a spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence.