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In the West Bank, the murder of a young Israeli triggers a surge in violence

The killing of a young Israeli shepherd on Saturday in the West Bank triggered an outbreak of violence. a resurgence of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory; whereù Armed settlers stormed several villages.

Attacks targeting Palestinian towns north of Ramallah since the disappearance of the teenager on Friday have worsened and spread to Hebron (south) and Nablus (center) after the announcement of his death.

Around ten villages were cordoned off by the army and invaded by hundreds of settlers crying for revenge although the perpetrators of the crime have not yet been identified, leaving at least two dead including a teenager aged 17 years old, killed in Beitin, east of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Palestinian emergency services and media also report dozens of injured, several of whom were shot, including one person hit in the head.

An Israeli border police reservist “was slightly injured” by “a terrorist who fired on forces operating in the Sinjil area” (north of Ramallah), police said in a statement on Sunday.

“Dozens of settlers are attacking the village and burning everything they can get their hands on,” the mayor of al-Mughayyir, Amir Abou Alia, told AFP.

Plumes of smoke coming from burned houses, fields, buildings and agricultural machinery rose above the hills and valleys, correspondents from the 'AFP.

– Call for calm –

It is near al-Mughayyir that Benjamin Achimeir, 14, disappeared Friday morning while grazing his sheep, which returned without him to his farm in Malachei HaShalom.

In the West Bank, the murder of a young Israeli triggers a surge in violence

A Palestinian in front of the ruins of a house after attacks by settlers targeting Palestinian villages, April 13, 2024 in al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah © AFP – JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

A vast operation was immediately launched by the army, and hundreds of civilians, including many settlers, deployed to try to find him.

< p>The boy's body was located Saturday midday not far away. “Benjamin Achimeir was assassinated in a terrorist attack,” the army, police and the Shin Beth domestic intelligence service said in a statement.

The forces of Israeli security forces are engaged “in the intensive pursuit of the despicable assassins and all those who collaborated with them”, declared Benjamin Netanyahu, denouncing “a heinous crime”.

The head of government also appealed for calm by calling on “all Israeli citizens to allow the security forces to do their work without hindrance”, and his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, warned against any “act of revenge”.

The leader of the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, for his part denounced “the violence of the settlers” described as a “dangerous violation of the law” .

In Ramallah, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohammed Mustafa, warned that these attacks would not “discourage our people from remaining on their lands and from thwarting the displacement and expulsion efforts” of the Palestinians of the territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

– Smoking carcasses –

In the West Bank, the murder of a young Israeli triggers a surge in violence

A Palestinian in the ruins of a house after attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian villages, April 13, 2024 in al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah © AFP – JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

Al-Muhayyir bore the scars of the violence on Saturday. Around houses or sheds with walls blackened by flames, cars, vans or agricultural machinery were set on fire, noted an AFP photographer.

Some dazed residents explored the remains of their house, of which only the skeleton of concrete blocks and the gaping windows overlooking the plain remained.

On the side of the roads, dozens of cars set on fire and roadblocks set up by the army to search vehicles.

In the West Bank, the murder of a young Israeli triggers a surge in violence

Israeli settlers on a hill overlooking the village of al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah, April 13, 2024 © AFP – JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

According to the mayor of Duma, near Nablus, the West Bank “has been experiencing a real state of war since yesterday” Friday. In his commune alone, 15 houses and 10 livestock farms were burned, he assured AFP.

These clashes occur in a context of increased confrontation in the West Bank since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, triggered on October 7 by the bloody attack of the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli territory.

In the West Bank, at least 462 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers since the start of the war, according to the Palestinian Authority.

The Special Rapporteur the UN on the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, urged Friday “the UN to authorize the deployment of a protective presence” in the territories.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116