Friday, May 24, 2024

One Palestinian killed, several injured in settler attack on West Bank village

One Palestinian was shot dead and dozens were wounded in a large-scale attack by Israeli settlers and soldiers on the village of al-Mughayyir in central West Bank.

The attack, which lasted for hours, came after an Israeli teenager went missing from their settlement, with Israeli security forces and hundreds of volunteers forming a huge search party to look for him.

Around 1,500 Israeli settlers, many of whom armed, stormed the village of al-Mughayyir, northeast of Ramallah, shooting at residents and setting houses and cars on fire, under the army’s protection.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported 25 people were wounded, eight of whom were hit by live fire. The slain man was later identified by his family as 26-year-old Jihad Abu Alia.

Kazem al-Hajj, one of the activists campaigning against Israeli settlements in the village, told Middle East Eye that the attack was the most horrific in recent years.

“As soon as the village residents heard of the settlers’ attack, they tried to confront them by heading to the northern area. Jihad Abu Alia was one of them, but he was hit by settlers’ bullets in the head and fell to the ground immediately,” added Hajj.

Abu Alia bled to death after Israeli soldiers prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded.

During the rampage, settlers set fire to more than 40 Palestinian facilities and 50 vehicles in al-Mughayyir, causing nearby agricultural lands to catch fire as well.

“The scene was terrible, clouds of smoke filled the village, and the sound of ambulances did not subside amid the intense and continuous shooting,” Hajj continued.

The settlers came from the Mallahi outpost, which they established over the past two years above the Jabeit Israeli army camp, which was originally built on Palestinian land north of Ramallah.

Hajj added the village has been under daily attacks by settlers “pursuing a policy of pastoral settlement to control village lands” with clear protection from Israeli soldiers.

Several hours after the attack started, the Israeli army withdrew from the village, but remained at its entrances, imposing a total closure and erecting checkpoints.

Israeli troops also stormed several neighbouring Palestinian villages and conducted search operations backed by a helicopter.

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