Israeli settler kills Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack

A Palestinian man has been killed by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The ministry said Alaa Qaysiyeh, 28, was shot dead Friday “by the occupation” south of Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank.

The Israeli army said the Palestinian man attempted to stab a resident of the Tene Omarim settlement and was shot by an armed civilian. Israeli settlements in the occupied territory are illegal under international law.

The army said the attacker had been “neutralized” and there were no Israeli casualties.

The incident occurred as people in the settlement gathered for prayers for the Jewish Shavuot festival, Israeli media reported.

Security camera footage from the site appears to show a Palestinian man crawling under a gate and walking into the settlement holding a knife. The video does not show the alleged stabbing attempt or the man being shot.

Qaysiyeh’s sister-in-law, Nana, told Reuters news agency the youngest of nine siblings worked intermittently, was largely on her own and was not a member of any armed group.

She said his brother Murad, her husband, was released six months ago after serving 17 years in an Israeli prison on charges of shooting at an illegal settlement and wounding three people.

No armed group claimed Qaysiyeh as a member.

Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been on the rise for more than a year, with frequent Israeli military incursions and settler violence in the occupied West Bank amid a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

More than 140 Palestinians and at least 19 Israelis and foreigners have been killed since January.

Israel occupied the West Bank, which the Palestinians want as the core of an independent state, during the 1967 Middle East War. US-sponsored statehood talks have been frozen since 2014, while Israel maintains military rule over millions of Palestinians and illegal Jewish settlements continue to expand.

Colonial Violence

The incident came as several European countries condemned Israeli demolitions and settler violence in the occupied West Bank, which flared up again when Palestinian farmers said Jewish settlers shot at them as they worked on their farmland.

Bashar al-Qaryuti, a field researcher with the St Yves rights group, said Jewish settlers harassed Palestinian farmers in three different parts of the West Bank on Friday, with the support of Israeli soldiers.

In the village of al-Mughayyir near the city of Ramallah, Palestinians said settlers shot at them and threw stones as they worked on their land, then set fire to their cars, sparking clashes.

“We were moving hay bales when the settlers arrived with soldiers and started shooting at us,” said Murad Abu Alia, who said he counted at least 25 settlers descended from the illegal settlement of Adei Ad.

Attaf al-Naasan told Reuters that the settlers poured fuel on his car and set it on fire as the soldiers watched and prevented him from reaching it.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said it was treating five people who came from al-Mughayyir, one with a critical gunshot wound to the head and four others who were hit by stones and are in stable condition.

Israelis and Palestinians threw stones at each other in the area, the army said, injuring both sides. It said the Israelis also fired into the air and set fire to several cars, and the troops responded with means of riot dispersal.

A European Union delegation to the Palestinians issued statements condemning Friday’s settler violence and calling on Israel to “end all confiscations and demolitions in the occupied West Bank, return donor-funded humanitarian goods or indemnify and to provide humanitarian aid unimpeded”.